Aishwarya Ramesh

Clear’s new campaign nudges users to file ITR on time

The ads show a man who procrastinates on the unlikeliest of things - except filing his tax returns.

The last date for filing income tax returns (ITR) for the financial year 2021-22 is July 31. Most people tend to procrastinate on tasks like this, and it is the theme of Clear's (formerly ClearTax) latest campaign.

Conceptualised by the Hyderabad-based advertising agency Sunny Side Up, it features a young man who procrastinates - when it comes to taking his pregnant wife to the hospital while she's in labour or playing Holi and watching a cricket match live.

However, he doesn't procrastinate when it comes to filing his taxes.

At the end of the ad, a voice-over in the background announces, “ITR pre-fill on ClearTax! Tax filing bina data entry ke. Itna asaan ke sab kuchh kal karne wale bhi, abhi kar dein!”

Snigdha Sunil, head of consumer marketing at Clear, mentions the product-centric brief. The company wanted to emphasise on the different aspects of ITR filing that the company has automated.

"The main brief is that to file your ITR, you don't need tax knowledge as such. The complex math is being done at the backend and the process is intuitive. This is the value proposition that we wanted to communicate."

Sunil says that during the research phase of the campaign, the company wanted to understand its consumer and their fear of filing. "We tend to put these things off to the last minute. The reason is not laziness, but there’s this sense of intimidation about the whole process."

"The creative conversation went in the direction of why the consumer puts this off till the last minute. That’s when we created this character called Kumar, who is the master of all procrastination. We make it so easy that even a person like him can do it."

Sunil mentions that for the campaign, the company is taking a digital-first approach, and running ads on digital and social media. She adds that the main TG are the millennials, who are used to doing things on their own and transacting online (online banking and digital payments).

"The TG we're looking at is 25-44 years old - part of the millennial generation. Our audience lives in metro cities, but we also want to target Tier-II and III cities."

Sunil also says that the digital-first approach gives the company an opportunity to work with influencers across categories to drive the message home - especially ‘finluencers’ (or financial influencers). She adds that digital media offers the company the option of focussed targeting.

"Tax filing is niche, even within financial services. We saw that there was more scope for optimising our targeting on digital and, hence, led with that medium." Email marketing has also worked well for the company in the past.

Sunil adds that the biggest challenge, when it comes to tax filing, is knowledge. Many people don't understand the different tax filing clauses and how to deal with them.

"When you are investing, you don’t pay heed to these things. But when you are filing, you need to pay attention to these details. People are not confident that these are things they can do on their own. A lot of calculations that I mentioned, are being done at the backend. That’s the value proposition we're trying to communicate."

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