H&R Block Offers Free Money To Help Build Their Equity

Nothing helps build (brand) equity quite like free money, which is why H&R Block is offering free cash to customers to help build their brand.

At least that’s the hope of the tax preparation company as they introduce an experimental marketing program that literally puts cash in the hands of consumers. It’s smart, engaging and, well, costly.

New kiosks from the brand dispense up to $100 to participants willing to take a 2-minute quiz, part of which includes the opportunity to fantasize about the best way to spend a billion dollars. Sounds easy enough.

The kiosks build off H&R Block’s “Get Your Billion Back America�? ad campaign that draws attention to the more than one billion dollars Americans left on the table after doing their own taxes in 2013. Ketchum, M1 Interactive, Decibel Management and CGS Premiere created the kiosks, which include multiple touch screens, cameras, computers and ATM components.

Needless to say the free-money-dispensing-kiosks, which are currently set up in Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, and (for some reason) Kansas City, have had no trouble finding willing participants. The machines have been used by more than 600 individuals and have garnered earned media from the thousands of others who have seen the machines in action.

While it’s a fun, on-strategy execution, and one that participants undoubtedly enjoy, it lacks the originality to differentiate itself from other similar kiosks/machine installations such as Coca Cola’s Happiness Machine. Still there’s no doubt it’s getting the message across to the good people of Kansas, New York, California and Georgia, so who’s to say it can’t still be a slam-dunk for the brand?

No word yet on whether or not H&R Block intends to spread the machines to other cities across the U.S., but for now company is probably happy limiting the number of places it installs free money dispensers to the few geographically separated locations already selected.