H&R Block Taps YouTube Talent For New Social Media Record Label

The brand is hoping new music will help convince you not to do your own taxes.

According to H&R Block, 56 million Americans will try to do their own taxes this year. Last year, the brand claims that taxpayers lost more than a billion dollars thanks to inaccuracies in their tax returns.


To mark that billion dollar collective blunder, the company and agency 360i decided to enlist 10 up and coming YouTubers as brand ambassadors to release original songs and videos as a social record label called Billion Back Records, as well as use social media to build excitement around getting your professionally prepared tax refund.

Artists span pop, country, and indie genres, including iJustine, Joey Graceffa, Pomplamoose, Jason Chen, among others. The brand is also using its Twitterfeed to issue challenges for the chance to win music-themed prizes like concert tickets and a custom guitar.

But seriously, music and taxes? Up to now the soundtrack for tax season was either this or, if you’re anything like MC Hammer or Willie Nelson, more like this. 360i group creative director Rahul Sabnis says the idea was to promote the idea of getting that billion dollars back in our pockets in a fun and provocative way. “While taxes can be boring a refund is worth celebrating,” says Sabnis. “From that perspective, the idea of creating music to celebrate the feeling of a tax refund seemed like a perfect fit.”

The criteria for participating artists was pretty simple–they had to be creative, and they had to have a following. “We believed that if given a chance to make authentic music in their own voices, the message would be well received by their passionate fans,” says Sabnis. “We worked closely with each artist to ensure that while our message remained intact, they remained true to their creative vision.”

This might be the first official association, but musical odes to taxes are nothing new. Just ask Johnny Cash or The Beatles.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.