Best of Branded Content: The Hipster Tax Crisis

As it turns out, creating a content strategy to reach Millennials might be ridiculously easy. Just make fun of hipsters.

That’s what H&R Block is doing with their new content marketing campaign, Hipster Tax Crisis. To be fair, they’re not laughing at hipsters, they’re laughing with them. Ironically. While wearing skinny jeans, a beanie and smoking a pipe.

For a good cause

Hipster Tax Crisis features a pretty genius mix of content, from a series of videos utilizing the talents of the Upright Citizens Brigade and ESPN host Kenny Mayne, to snarky ecards, to a photo tool that lets users “hipsterize” themselves (check mine out below — super cute, right?). In all, H&R Block might just be accomplishing the impossible – making an insanely boring task like doing your taxes both funny and fun.

After all, everyone loves making fun of hipsters — especially hipsters themselves.

And it’s all in good taste (way tastier than quinoa or a kale shake).

The interesting part of this endeavor is that H&R Block claims they aren’t trying to gain any young, hip customers. “Most Millennials have already done their taxes,” Jerrod Laughlin, H&R Block’s vice president for interactive marketing and media, told . This campaign is not about necessarily trying to sell them or get them to do their taxes now. It’s about engaging with them around taxes and trying to make the subject matter a little bit more fun than the downer that it is.”

More likely, the company is hoping to capture the attention of “Generation Turbo Tax,” (yes, that’s a real thing) — Millennials who prefer to file their taxes online. That way, when they start investing and their finances become more complex a few years down the line, H&R Block will be top of mind.

Perhaps what most boosts this content marketing’s shareability factor is its charitable side; every social media share of Hipster Tax Crisis content results in an H&R Block donation to Covenant House, which serves homeless youth.

“This audience wants to know you’re not just selling them a product, you also care about the world we live in,” Scott Gulbransen, director of social influence at H&R Block in Kansas City, Mo, told The New York Times. In fact, the campaign will culminate in an event in the world we live in: the Irony Games, to be held on April 1 in Seattle, Wa.

Shedding a stuffy image is no easy task for a company that takes on tax season, but somehow, H&R Block is finding the “fun” in refund. (See what I did there?)

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