How Tax Preparation Companies Leverage TV
20 January 2020 • tvsquared
Marlessa Stivala,
Content Marketing Manager

Ready or not, another tax season is fast approaching. This means that tax preparation companies are making the most out of their advertising dollars in order to connect with existing and potential customers alike. TV has consistently been a major part of this industry’s ad spend. In fact, back in 2018, some estimates placed it at more than $190 million in the first few months of the year alone.

What’s Working for Tax Industry Brands

TVSquared analyzed more than 30,000 spots across tax advertisers in 2019. Among the tax advertisers analyzed, we identified these 2019-specific trends:

  • Saturday and Sunday had the highest number of spots across tax advertisers, accounting for 36% of the total ads aired.
  • Daytime was the most popular daypart, accounting for 30% of all spots. 
  • There was a diversified creative mix. Each brand used 3-8 different creatives for their campaigns; 15-second spots were the most common creative length.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, these brands were most likely to heavily invest in TV between February and April (though some waited until March). One brand also dedicated a portion of its budget to mid-summer (specifically mid-July through mid-August); this was likely to coincide with the timing of post-deadline IRS notices
  • ESPNews, BBC America and MTV2 were among the channels with the most ad spend.

Tax Preparer Increases TV-Driven Response by 40% YoY

We took a closer look at one specific tax preparer that has been using TVSquared’s ADvantage platform for more than two years to make TV a performance-driven channel.

The advertiser prioritizes customer acquisition, leveraging TVSquared to tie TV directly to business outcomes, such as online signups (especially leading up to the April 15th IRS deadline).

By measuring the immediate impact of its TV spots with ADvantage, the brand makes those findings actionable.  For example, it found that daytime spots performed very well, and heavily increased buys during that time of day. As a result of continuous optimizations, the tax brand:

  • Increased TV-driven responses year-over-year by nearly 40%
  • More than doubled its total TV ad spend (it saw that TV worked and invested more in it)

By consistently optimizing its TV spots (by daypart, day of week, network, program, genre, creative, etc.), the advertiser continually improves customer targeting for more effective and efficient outcomes.