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January 30, 2020

The Taxman Cometh – Spend Heartily on Television

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Tax season is officially here and we have seen a large increase in television advertising by brands that offer assistance with tax preparation. In particular, the brand Intuit ranks fifth of all brands in terms of total dollars spent on television advertising year-to-date with a large focus of its marketing budget being allocated towards its tax preparation software solution, TurboTax. A recent study by ( shows the levels of total U.S. TV advertising and share of voice by the major brands in the tax preparation industry, Intuit, H&R Block and Taxslayer, and how seasonality influences the brands marketing plans.

While there was over $360M spent in U.S. television advertising in 2019 by brands in the tax preparation software industry, all of Intuit TurboTax television advertising spend in 2019 occurred in the period of time known as tax season. H&R Block and Taxslayer market their tax preparation software in a similar timeframe, but it looks like H&R Block starts a little earlier in December, after the holidays.

The TurboTax Live product was the focus of nearly half of Intuit’s TurboTax advertising in 2019 at nearly $100 million, and the TurboTax Software accounted for nearly another $106 million. Kinetiq’s research suggests that Intuit has decided to focus more heavily on its traditional TurboTax Software so far in 2020 and has increased its spend by nearly 50%, while reducing other program spend by nearly 95%.

With Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon, there is little doubt that we will continue to see these three competitors spend on advertising their tax preparation solutions. Intuit has already announced its intentions to run a 45-second spot titled, “All People Are Tax People Remix,” during the Super Bowl. The decision to air a Super Bowl commercial is consistent with the behavior of Intuit so far in 2020, as the brand has spent more than double that of H&R Block and Taxslayer combined on advertising during NFL Playoff games.

Using’s advertisement database, clients can stay up-to-date on all of the latest television advertisements and better understand how seasonality and other factors influence the television spend of their brands as well as their competitors.

-Brian Coughlin (

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