Mustache march on Capitol Hill successfully highlights tax issue

H&R Block needed to connect with young tax payers, so it tapped agency Elasticity to increase brand awareness among 21-to-35-year-olds.

Client
H&R Block
PR agency

Elasticity
Campaign

The Stache Act
Duration

February 20-April 15
Budget

$160,000

H&R Block needed to connect with young tax payers, so it tapped agency Elasticity to increase brand awareness among 21-to-35-year-olds.

Strategy
Aaron Perlut, Elasticity managing partner, leveraged facial hair advocacy group the American Mustache Institute, where he is president, as a marketing platform for the campaign.

Tactics
On February 18, a press conference introduced the "Million Mustache March" in support of the Stache Act, which would provide up to a $250 annual tax refund for mustached Americans. "It brought up a very real issue of tax breaks for special interests in a humorous way," explains Perlut. Elasticity leveraged social media to drive traffic to H&R Block's Facebook page where users could "mustache" themselves as part of the fun.

For every participant H&R Block pledged money to Millions From One, which provides people with clean drinking water. On April 1, more than 350 people participated in the "Million Mustache March" on Capitol Hill.

Results
H&R Block filed 4.5% more taxes in 2012, marking the highest number of customers in the company's history. Nearly 44,000 people mustached themselves, and H&R Block donated $10,000 to Millions From One.

Media placements included CNN, Forbes, ABC, Bloomberg, NBC, and NPR. Forbes reported that H&R Block's buzz rating climbed from eight to 22.

Future
Elasticity expects to return to the campaign next year.

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