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H&R Block

Integrated PR Search Social
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In the lead up to tax season, H&R Block asked Elasticity to build brand engagement with 21-to 35-year-olds – an audience that has increasingly seen the brand as stodgy and stale in light of Turbo Tax and other competitors.

Our mission: build brand engagement through an integrated program including elements of social media, digital marketing, and traditional public relations.


Based on insights from our award-winning Stache Act campaign, we knew that the program needed to be unique in order to break through the glut of clutter to reach the targeted demographic.

To that end, we utilized humor to break through the clutter to connect with the demographic. We leveraged the widespread backlash against the hipster subculture in America, creating a fictitious, “Hipster Tax Crisis.”

The premise of the Hipster Tax Crisis was simple:

It’s a dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about, but the American Hipster is in a deep crisis – a Hipster Tax Crisis. That’s right, they are struggling to properly file taxes in non-ironic fashion. Blankets do not qualify as deductible clothing expenses, scarves cannot be counted as dependents, kale grown on a fire escape doesn’t allow you to claim your residence as a home office.

To increase the engagement, we enlisted Kenny Mayne – the sardonic Sports Center anchor – to be the face of the campaign. In addition, we aligned the campaign with Covenant House, a national non-profit dedicated to helping homeless youth.

At the center of the campaign, we created a humorous microsite, using videos of Kenny Mayne and others to deepen brand engagement. The microsite utilized numerous touch points to drive engagement including Hipster Tax Facts and a HipsterizeMe photo application.

The campaign culminated in the Irony Games in Seattle – a celebration of the American hipster where the greatest hipster in history was announced.

The campaign was supported by extensive public relations and a small paid media buy.


The campaign was a resounding success. Highlights include:

  • 43,000 total visits
  • 394,000 total video views
  • 12,000 points of engagement
  • 43 major national media placements including Time, The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and others