I would have preferred to post this as I saw it on television -- without knowing initially what product it was for, because the reveal makes a fun ad even funnier. But since the only clips of it that I could find online all mention the product the first thing, that option is out the window. It's still very offbeat, clever and a treat. It's also probably the funniest TV ad I've seen for a tax-preparation software. Okay, in fairness, tax-preparation software isn't known for being all that funny, though there have been a few cute ones. (And it seems they tend to be from TurboTax -- for instance last year they had a series for a one-button app that was so easy to use even if you weren't a rocket scientist.) This, though, takes it to another level.
And adding in a celebrity -- and a celebrity you wouldn't necessarily associale with tax preparation software -- makes it all the more unlikely. I'd just love to have been in two rooms: one, where they came up with the idea, and the other, when the ad agency went to the copany and said, "Okay, here's what we have in mind...
The point here isn't that the ad is SO funny. I think it is, but that's all personal taste. The point is that I like people who push the envelope and come up with different ways of doing the norm that are also effective. And this is a different idea for selling tax preparation software.
This is the ad for TurboTax that features Oscar-winner Kathy Bates. If you can, try watching this from the perspective of not initially knowing what product it's for...
For the record, TurboTax has developed a series of similar-offbeat ads this year, including one with "Big Poppy" David Ortiz, the Designated Hitter of the Boston Red Sox who just retired at the end of the past season. It too is pretty funny, though I single out the one with Kathy Bates because it's SO odd and unexpected. You can at least see the connection to David Ortiz and the thinking behind it. But the Kathy Bates ad just comes totally out of left-field from another universe.
But for the sake of continuity, here's the ad with Ortiz.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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