At H&R Block 'Estamos Contigo'

New campaign targets Hispanic consumers with tailored ads

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 19 // PRNewswire // -- H&R Block is looking for clients who speak Spanish - and Chicago-based advertising agency Lapiz is helping to bring them onboard through a new ad campaign that reinforces the tax company's position as the expert and advocate for the Hispanic taxpayers.

Showcasing the company's commitment to the Hispanic community under the tagline "Estamos Contigo" (we are with you), the campaign rolled out in early January and will run through early April across 13 markets including New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Denver, El Paso, Fresno, Phoenix and Puerto Rico.

"Filing taxes can be stressful, and even more so for those born outside the United States who may not be familiar with this process," said Sheila Dougherty, Senior Marketing Manager of Multicultural Marketing at H&R Block. "Lapiz's understanding of our business needs is reflected on the 'Estamos Contigo' campaign, which is helping us reiterate to the Hispanic community that, at H&R Block, we have the resources and the expertise to serve and support them in their language of preference when it comes to taxes and other financial needs, all year-round."

After being selected as H&R Block's agency of record for the U.S. Hispanic market back in April 2007, Lapiz has worked closely with H&R Block to create an original and entertaining Hispanic advertisement campaign that aligned with the company's general market "You Got People" campaign. The result is a distinct television, radio and OOH campaign featuring Horacio (H) and Roberto (R), two likeable Hispanic friends on a quest to bust the myths that Hispanics may have about H&R Block in a humorous, yet informative, approach.

"When creating the ad campaign, we kept in mind H&R Block's stance as the leader in the tax industry and a partner for the Hispanic community. At the same time, we wanted to bring a fresh perspective to something as serious as taxes in order to connect with Latinos in a more personal and humorous light," said Laurence Klinger, Chief Creative Officer at Lapiz.

Tailored to each market, the OOHs convey the company's language capabilities and its reliable services. For instance, the Los Angeles OOH features Horacio and Roberto wearing black leather jackets and sunglasses, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator", with a quirky "Hasta La Vista, Taxes" slogan, while the Miami OOH showcases the pair sipping on Cuban coffee with the statement "Si Algo te Va a Quitar el Sueno, Que Sea el Cafe Cubano," which roughly translates to "if you're going to lose sleep, let it be over Cuban coffee." In Dallas, Horacio and Roberto let taxpayers know that H&R Block will do their taxes "Sin Rodeos," ("without the run around"), a clever play on words that honors the official sport in the state of Texas.

Witty television spots light-heartedly showcase the importance of having a qualified, Spanish speaking, bilingual tax professional who has received the latest training on all the recent tax law changes and can effectively guide the clients to file their returns. One of the spots follows Horacio and Roberto, along with two flamenco dancers, to an H&R Block office, where Horacio and Roberto will prove that the professionals at H&R Block do speak Spanish. The flamenco dancers belt out a tune in Spanish stating "can you help me with my taxes, please?" to which a tax professional responds (also singing) "but of course, have a seat." Horacio and Roberto then add: "Proof that H&R Block does speak Spanish."

In another spot, Horacio and Roberto visit a beauty salon and ask the stylist to assist in tax preparation. The stylist gladly accepts the documents and, after some time has passed, the camera flashes back to the stylist, who has converted the documents into paper-doll cut outs. Horacio and Roberto then state: "Proven, not just anyone can do your taxes."

Lapiz's advertising campaign reinforces H&R Block's catered outreach to the Hispanic community. The company has Latino-focused offices nationwide, where taxpayers can find relevant products and services, all in their language of preference. Additional resources are also available through the company's toll free number, 1-800 HR BLOCK as well as on the company's Spanish site, http://www.hrblock.com/espanol

About H&R Block

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's preeminent tax services provider, having served more than 400 million clients since 1955 and generating annual revenues of $4 billion in fiscal year 2007. H&R Block provides income tax return preparation and related services and products via a nationwide network of approximately 13,000 company-owned and franchised offices and through TaxCut(R) online and software solutions. The company also provides business services through RSM McGladrey and certain consumer financial services. For more information visit our Online Press Center at http://www.hrblock.com .

About Lapiz

Lapiz (http://www.lapizusa.com) is one of the top Hispanic advertising agencies in the country and works with clients such as, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, Hanes Apparel, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Kellogg Company, McDonald's of Chicagoland, H&R Block, Procter & Gamble and Allstate. Originally the Hispanic division of Leo Burnett USA, Lapiz established its own identity in 1999 and is considered one of the fastest growing multicultural agencies in the U.S. Winner of more EFFIE Awards recognizing marketing effectiveness than any other Hispanic shop in the country, Lapiz has also garnered numerous creative awards including a Silver Lion at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, arguably the most prestigious creative event in the industry. It is also a two-time recipient of the "O'Toole Multicultural Award" from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), the highest honor in the multicultural space based in an agency's body of work. Lapiz - which means "pencil" - operates independently within Leo Burnett Worldwide (http://www.leoburnett.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Publicis Groupe.

SOURCE H&R Block

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