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Advertise Your QR

Nathan Grawe
published Jan 15, 2014

Over the weekend I saw an effective example of QR in advertising: H&R Block's Get Your Billion Back, America campaign. The premise of the campaign is hardly new: American's fail to claim all of the tax refunds available to them by about $1B each year. What was new (to me, at least) was H&R Block's attempt to make that number meaningful:

"That's $500 on every single seat–not just in this stadium, but in every professional football stadium in America [with visual of an NFL stadium]."

We can certainly discuss whether this is the 'right' way to think about this problem:

  • How big is $1B? $1B is 1/1000th of the approximately $1T paid in income taxes. Is 99.9% a bad success rate?
  • We already spend 31.5 billion dollars to pay tax professionals and buy tax software. How much more will we have to pay to squeeze out that last $1B?
  • Do we know that the $1B is really "lost?" I know that when I do my own taxes I am conservative at times, intentionally leaving some deductions off my taxes to reduce the odds of an audit. Of course, my hypothetical tax preparer doesn't have to worry about feeling the full brunt of that audit since she isn't on the hook if I say I did something that I actually didn't. So, her incentives are to push me to claim the biggest refund possible.

But, all of that stated, I think it is great to see advertisers who are QR-literate and use "compared to what" to make their pitches as clear as possible.

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