With so many different ways to make money these days — gig work, side hustles, small start-ups, crypto investments — completing one’s taxes can be a daunting prospect, especially for younger consumers who are not familiar with all of the nuances that may be required to file correct and complete returns.
With its latest campaign, Intuit’s TurboTax is positioning itself as a product with a host of possible solutions — up to and including one-on-one personal accounting consultations — to ensure people can maximize their returns. Notably, the multi-channel marketing blitz will lead to the brand’s 11th consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
“People are making lots of moves in their lives, and they’re making big decisions,” said Nick Soukas, senior vice president of marketing of Intuit’s Consumer Group. “We want to celebrate those moments and make sure that they don’t see tax as a limitation. They should be out there seizing life. We’re there to support them and they can count on us to get 100% accurate returns.”
“Make Your Moves Count” depicts a number of scenarios that consumers might find themselves in this tax season, particularly if they have made a big life change (or, as the company puts it “a move”), like buying a home or starting a business, that may affect their taxes. This group of consumers, which the company has termed “risers,” overlaps significantly with the younger millennial and Gen Z cohorts, who are the primary targets of the campaign.
“What we find is people are making the moves, and sometimes they don’t know there are tax consequences to it,” Soukas said. “What we want them to know is no matter what they do, we can make the most of it.”
One spot in the new campaign, for example, depicts a couple who navigates a “turbulent housing market” by purchasing a houseboat. As proud as they are of their ingenuity, they realize they don’t know much about filing taxes as property owners, so they turn to a TurboTax professional for guidance. A second commercial depicts a man who loves anything free, including the chairs and lamps people put by their curbs. The man is excited to find that he is likely to be part of the 37% of TurboTax filers whose finances are simple enough to qualify to use TurboTax’s free software solution.
“We’re really focusing on the true roots of TurboTax,” said Soukas. “We empower consumers through our original solution to conquer tax preparation on their own. Now we have a full suite of services, and we’ve got people covered through all of the different ways they can do their taxes.”
New innovations, old tactics
The latest campaign from TurboTax is a culmination of the company’s previous campaigns, which have showcased added features and innovations such as having professionals available to handle the full tax preparation (rather than using the company’s DIY services) and offering live counselors to help with complex tax questions, Soukas detailed. The shift reflects a company-wide evolution for TurboTax’s parent company, Intuit, which also owns CreditKarma, Quickbooks and Mailchimp.
“Intuit is on a transformation from being just a tax and accounting software company where consumers do most of the work to a global financial technology platform where most of the work is done for you,” said Soukas.
Among the innovations TurboTax is touting this year is the use of generative AI to provide real-time accuracy checks (as opposed to going back through to check once all of the data has been entered) and real-time Spanish translation for Latino customers. In a bid to attract that growing customer base, TurboTax’s new campaign will include two Spanish-language spots, including one that depicts a recently married couple turning to TurboTax to file their first joint returns.
“[The real-time translation] is a first-of-its-kind experience and a big innovation,” said Soukas. “All of the work we have done historically to build a Latino customer base, it’s just going to accelerate because what people see with our campaign, they can follow all the way through with our product.”
As with previous campaigns, this year’s effort, which includes seven total video spots, launches in January and will run on broadcast, digital, audio and social channels. The company has also forged marketing partnerships with Twitch, TikTok, BuzzFeed and Roku. Also in keeping with previous efforts, the commercials will lead to a new spot during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, the brand’s 11th consecutive appearance in the big game.
While Soukas wouldn’t comment on the details of the spot, he noted that the Super Bowl has been an effective channel for the company to tout its new services.
“It’s been a powerful platform for us because we continue to innovate and to have important things to say to customers about how we can serve them the way they want to be served,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to have these innovations that we can use that stage to communicate that to customers.”