TurboTax’s Super Bowl Ad Serves a Rap Video About Taxes

The tax prep company released an extended version of its game day commercial

TurboTax's Super Bowl ad is rife with rapping and dancing. TurboTax
Headshot of Minda Smiley

TurboTax has released an extended version of its 45-second Super Bowl commercial, which will air during the second quarter of the game.

Created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, the ad is a rap music video that’s essentially an ode to tax season.

In hopes of bringing America together in an election year, the tax preparation software brand is taking the opportunity to remind viewers that no matter who you are—a beekeeper, office worker or someone who dresses up as a hippo for children’s birthday parties—you have to do your taxes.

“With the Super Bowl, we are creating a moment, at the height of tax season, to inspire and empower fans, and celebrate what unites us,” Mary-Ann Somers, senior vice president at TurboTax’s parent company Intuit, said in a statement. “We believe that people are capable of amazing things and, with the right tools and encouragement, they can do anything—including their taxes.”

The spot doesn’t plug any one of TurboTax’s tools in particular, but rather highlights several of the platform’s offerings, like its mobile app and on-demand tax experts. The Super Bowl spot marks the culmination of the brand’s “All People Are Tax People” campaign that debuted at the start of the year.

According to Wieden + Kennedy, filmmaker and artist Calmatic directed the commercial, and the song was created in partnership with Walker Music. The ad marks TurboTax’s seventh appearance in the Super Bowl. Last year, its Super Bowl spot starred an unsettling RoboChild with dreams of growing up to become an accountant.

Despite its cheery affect, TurboTax’s most recent Super Bowl campaign comes at a time when the company faces criticism for directly profiting from the complicated tax system in the U.S. Last year, investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica detailed how the company has long “fended off the government’s attempts to make tax filing free and easy” via lobbying and deceptive practices.

Late last year, the Internal Revenue Service made a number of reforms to alleviate some of these issues. For instance, companies like TurboTax are now barred from hiding free versions of their tax filing software available to lower- and middle-income Americans on Google and other search engines. The IRS also scrapped an agreement with the tax preparation industry that barred the government agency from creating its own filing system.

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@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.