H&R Block Wants to Prepare People's Future, Not Just Taxes

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H&R Block rolls out direct mail and print efforts next week as part of the first marketing campaign for its H&R Block Financial Advisors division.

The mail campaign will focus on the division's service called the Wealth Management Account while the print ads will promote the account as well as other financial services available.

"The Wealth Management product is unique in that it offers tax preparation along with a host of other financial services," said Brian Moriarty, assistant vice president, Financial Advisors marketing. "So when tax season rolls around, we want them to have us in mind."

The mailing will total less than 250,000 pieces, Moriarty said. Half will go to current tax customers and the other half to prospects. The mailings will drop over two to three weeks.

The targeted consumers are described as mainstream Americans who have a pragmatic attitude toward their finances and who have been overlooked by large investment firms.

"We are not going after millionaires with this campaign," Moriarty said. "But they certainly won't be turned away."

The pieces to customers and prospects will be similar, though the piece to customers will acknowledge H&R Block's existing relationship with them.

The cover of each piece will display a boy shooting marbles in order to relay the concept of simplicity, Moriarty said. The pieces will contain a toll-free number and a Web address as calls to action.

H&R Block debuts the print campaign Jan. 17 with three ads that will promote the brand, the Wealth Management Account and an offer of a free financial review. The ads will appear in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City Star and Detroit News.

There will be no graphics or photos, just text. Moriarty said he wanted these ads to stand out from typical financial services advertising and that the goal is to build response rather than brand.

"We are going to make them straightforward and give people the opportunity to understand the value and the message immediately," he said. "There will be no category lingo, and they will be relatively hard-hitting. With the message we are trying to get across, we didn't think we needed any imagery."

The ads will contain a national toll-free number and a local number to call for more information along with a Web address.

Local and national ads on cable television began Dec. 17 and will run through the end of the first quarter.

Moriarty would not disclose the cost of the campaign.

H&R Block worked with Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, on developing all aspects of the campaign.


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