TaxACT Press Release - January 17, 2012
2nd Story Software®, the Makers of TaxACT®, To Tell Its Universal Story of Free to Super Bowl Audience
The bold commercial is part of a multi-dimensional marketing campaign to spread the TaxACT message of free.
Cedar Rapids, IA – January 17, 2012 – TaxACT, a giant in the digital tax preparation industry most recognized for its free federal tax solution, is making its Super Bowl debut with a commercial about the human truth of free.
TaxACT introduced the first free federal tax preparation and filing solution for all taxpayers during the 2005 tax season. Today, it remains the only free product that includes forms and schedules necessary for many complex returns filed by millions of customers each year.
2nd Story Software's marketing efforts have historically focused on online advertising with some television. The company made the bold leap to the Super Bowl this year in order to cut through the industry's loud advertising noise, particularly in the case of free tax products.
"Our message that TaxACT Free Federal Edition is truly free for everyone is relevant for all taxpayers," said Kris Peterson, Vice President of Marketing at 2nd Story Software. "Given that the Super Bowl reached a total audience of 88.7 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 54 last year1, the Super Bowl is the ideal platform to deliver our message."
The commercial uses a courageous and gutsy story to put viewers in touch with the feeling of being totally free at emotional, physical and psychological levels. Dave Morton, president of J.W. Morton & Associates advertising agency, said, "It's great that 2nd Story Software is being so bold and confident. The Super Bowl is bold and so is the concept."
The commercial's free message immediately resonated with all parties involved in the commercial, making for a one-of-a-kind experience. Director Wayne Craig of Mechaniks production company said, "Everyone involved in the project from start to finish was infected by the story and bought into the vision. I believe after watching the ad, the audience will understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that TaxACT really does help people. The company behind it has a great sense of humor, they're down to earth, and they have an unbelievable free product."
Although the plot will remain under wraps until the commercial airs on February 5, 2nd Story Software is building up to it through a comprehensive marketing campaign spanning web, email and social media channels. The build began with the start of Feel the Free Fridays Sweepstakes on January 5, the same day final versions of TaxACT were released. The sweepstakes introduces participants to TaxACT's "totally free feels good" message and engages them in a conversation about free with thousands of others.
A new TaxACT web site, free.taxact.com, was launched today. The interactive web site builds excitement for the Super Bowl commercial and football game while reinforcing its free message. The site features sneak peeks of the commercial, offers the opportunity to enter and engage with other participants in the Feel the Free Fridays Sweepstakes, and tests visitors' football knowledge.
The commercial can be viewed in its entirety on the site immediately after airing on game day.
Like 2nd Story Software, this is the first Super Bowl commercial for Craig, J.W. Morton & Associates, Mechaniks, and Independent post production company of Milwaukee, WI.
About 2nd Story Software and TaxACT
2nd Story Software, the makers of TaxACT, is a privately held company founded in 1998 and critically acclaimed as a leader in developing affordable tax preparation software and Web-based services directly for consumers, business owners and tax professionals. TaxACT has been the 2nd most visited online destination for tax preparation services for the past six consecutive years2. Since 2000, TaxACT Online has assisted with more than 20 million e-filed federal returns. TaxACT is 100% made and supported in the U.S. Learn more about TaxACT at www.taxact.com and in the Press Center at www.taxact.com/press.
About J.W. Morton and Associates
J.W. Morton and Associates is a full-service Cedar Rapids advertising agency founded in 1984. Agency services cover the gamut, from public relations to TV advertising to branding and all points in between. Their roster of clients represents a diverse range of industries including software and technology, healthcare, food service, agriculture and banking, to name a few. Learn more about the agency at jwmorton.com.
Mechaniks is a full-service production company based in Venice, California founded in 2002. Mechaniks represents an A-list roster of nationally and internationally recognized directors, and is actively engaged in the production and development of commercials, branded content, TV and full-length feature films. More can be found at www.mechaniks.com.
1 Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live + 7 Data, 2/6/11, Fox Super Bowl XLV, P18-54 TA (000) with a viewing qualifier of 6 minutes.
2 According to collective week end reports for taxact.com and taxactonline.com released by Hitwise™ during the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 tax seasons.