United Way Worldwide


  • Challenge

    Find a creative way to make the topic of tax filing less daunting to a millennial audience, while increasing the number of users that take advantage of United Way’s free tax-filing partnership with H&R Block.

  • Solution

    “The only certainties in life are death and taxes”, so why not appeal to the slightly weird, offbeat humour of millennials with a campaign that uses Death himself as its spokesman?

  • Results

    A fun and informative campaign site that educates users on their eligibility to file their taxes for free, while emphasizing calls-to-action that prompt more of them to start filing.

The only certainties in life are death and (free) taxes. Did you know that everyone who earns less than $69,000 is eligible to file both their state and federal taxes for free? It's true: United Way has partnered with H&R Block since 2009 to make the latter’s premium tax prep product available, for free, to everyone who meets the income threshold. We needed a creative way to share that information with people at the beginning of their taxpaying lives (i.e., millennials) using a simple, yet engaging campaign site.

  • Creative Concepting How Do You Do, Fellow Kids?

    We knew that we wanted the new site for MyFreeTaxes to be geared towards millennials — the people who are more likely to file online and meet the income requirement — which would also mean doing away with any dry design or corporate-sounding calls to action. So we came up with three potential creative campaign directions, each of which had a distinct and compelling take on how to educate our audience about MyFreeTaxes, and presented those to the United Way team for selection.

  • Art + Copy Bringing Death to Life

    To our delight, the United Way team went with our boldest concept: Death and Free Taxes. Working off the familiar expression “the only certainties in life are death and taxes,” we created a friendly, relatable character who would lead users through a series of “pro-tips” about filing taxes for free. The copy plays the straight-man to the illustrations that feature our spokesperson (nicknamed “Steve” by the UW team) as he goes through the quotidian slog of figuring out how to pay his taxes.

  • Visual Design From Digital Ads to Door-Hangers

    In addition to the site, United Way needed a full library of campaign-themed marketing materials to share with their local affiliates as part of the MyFreeTaxes promotion. These required assets ran the gamut from digital banner ads, to printable posters, and even paper door-hangers. We successfully translated a digital campaign to print, and equipped the United Way team to reach the widest possible audience for the campaign.


We partnered with United Way to imagine a new way to talk to the 100 million people in the U.S. who are eligible to file their taxes for free. By creating a concept that was tailored to our millennial audience, we were able to completely redesign and simplify MyFreeTaxes.com to emphasize the site’s main call-to-action and increase conversions.