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SXSW Interactive 2013

How A Hairy, Sexy 'Stache Made A Brand Relevant

It’s no secret that businesses struggle with shedding corporate skin on social media, especially when attempting to make a “boring” topic relevant to consumers between the ages of 18-35, who are the most active online. Most corporate blogs and social channels, especially those in the “not-so-sexy” industries, are known to be poorly visited and unengaging. So how do these companies become more relevant to a young, social consumer?
H&R Block and American Mustache Institute’s joint launch of the `Stache Act is a good example of how to do that. This campaign, which fought for a $250 annual tax deduction for mustached Americans, generated unparalleled buzz for H&R Block within its target demographic, increasing Buzz Score by 14 points and closing the gap with competitor Turbo Tax. In this presentation, Scott and Aaron will use `Stache Act to educate social media brand managers on ways to use content to transform a brand’s personality for an audience of socially savvy consumers.

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  1. What are the most common challenges faced by old, “boring” brands on social media?
  2. How can these brands use content to establish and maintain relevance with younger, socially active consumers?
  3. How can these older brands achieve this relevance without compromising on their history and established brand identity?
  4. How can brands take their audience’s online chatter and turn it into offline action?
  5. What role does cause-based marketing play in campaigns like these?


  • Scott Gulbransen, Director, Social Media, H&R Block
  • Aaron Perlut, Managing Partner, Elasticity


Donna Ho, Account Coordinator, SHIFT Communications

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Intermediate
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