Taxco ads put new spin on getting carded

To attract students, H&R Block is sweetening the hassle of filing income taxes.

The Student Price Card (HQ’d in Toronto) has been giving youngsters handy discounts at hundreds of Canadian retailers and restaurants since 1992. But it took the creative minds at Toronto’s Due North Communications to spot, and act on, an opportunity for tax prep company H&R Block to get in on the action.

‘The idea of partnering our client with the SPC card made sense,’ Due North group account director Glenn Swann tells MiC, ‘given the continuity of (SPC’s) primary demographic and H&R Block’s target demographic for its student product. The hope is to create lifetime customers from within this sector.’

With the tagline ‘Now getting carded is a good thing,’ ads began rolling out last month, and will continue until the April 30 filing deadline, in all editions of Metro and in more than 100 university and college publications across Canada in both English and French. E-mail blasts are also going out to both SPC’s database and H&R Block’s past student customers. As well, there are billboards on the campuses of major Canadian universities and colleges. Due North handled the media planning and buys as well as the creative work.

As a bonus-added sweetener, there is an online contest whose prize is a trip for two to ‘a secret destination’ to see Fall Out Boy live in concert. Contestants can either register their SPC numbers or post pictures of themselves taken at any business that accepts SPC cards for chances to win. The site also contains tax-filing tips.