Unless you’re an account and tax season is your Super Bowl, the last thing most sane people want to think about is taxes. Well, that’s sort of the idea behind the TurboTax commercial called, “Not Taxes.” It’s only January and the tax deadline is over 3 months away at the time of this writing, so TurboTax has come out of the gate in a full sprint. But to do so, they reached back over 4 decades for the soundtrack. Take a look at the ad then scroll down for more info…
The Music. The visuals work really well with the song choice, which is “Plantasia” by Mort Garson, released way back in 1976. This song is quite interesting and plays just a part of the big picture presented in the commercial. I’ll explain what I mean below, but first, here’s the full song track.
An Old New Era. Most of the characters shown could be plucked right out of the 1970s. Check out their wardrobe, the room decor, etc. But I’ll admit when I first heard the song, I had no idea if it was a new or very old. At least some of today’s music has come back around to old, familiar sounds, and I don’t hate it! In regards to meshing this sound with the disco era visuals, it could be that the creators of the commercial wanted to reflect back on, and remind us of, a time in which taxes were basically a nightmare (kind of like the amount of hairspray used on those hair-do’s, am I right!?) to complete. And even in 2023, trying to do it on your own without TurboTax will send you back in time with how difficult it would inevitably be. At least that’s what they want all of us non-accountants to think!
Colors. This colorful ad shows off a few things people do when they’re not doing taxes… like horseback riding, swimming, and kissing, although I think most of those happen year-round. Taxpayers (or should ‘taxpayers’ just be called ‘US citizens’ as to not be offensive now that Stanford’s list of harmful words is out?) are encouraged to let TurboTax do the dirty work. Notice the use of darker colors and tones in the first half of the commercial and as it progresses the palette gets lighter and brighter. I’m sure this is on purpose to leave you feeling good about handing off tax responsibilities to someone else… ANYONE ELSE!!! The brightest scene is the wedding, which includes lots of pastels of pink and red. Not to be nitpicky, but this gay marriage is the only scene that doesn’t fit the 70s era narrative. It wasn’t until 2015 that same-sex marriages were recognized in every state in the U.S. Plus, with all the non-binaries, 429 genders, trans this and trans that, are they even called gay weddings, anymore?
How do you feel about the use of the song in this commercial? Is it too early to be thinking about taxes? Chime in below!
you guys y’all (Stanford approved) tomorrow!
-Out of the Wilderness