Intuit's Latest Experiential Strategy: Dinner's On Us

This spring, Intuit hosted Happy Hour events across Rhode Island to raise awareness about its QuickBooks Online Accountant product. Now, Intuit is moving from drinks to dinner by creating an accountants-only pop-up restaurant in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Developed by its ad agency RPA, this "Asset" restaurant invited 500 QuickBooks Online Accountant subscribers to enjoy meals Aug. 18 and 19 in San Francisco and earlier this week in Los Angeles. This entire project was designed to involve as many subscribers as possible, including vendors and organizers of the events.

The concept is based on the program's selling point to save time and the entire five-course meal was developed to "clear their plates faster than ever" and bring its services to life. The Cloud Cocktail, for instance, is a gin-and-tonic-infused vapor designed to exemplify the convenience of working with clients in the cloud. And the Growing Garden of green canapés relates to the ability to give accountants time to “grow” their business. 



The experiential efforts in both cities were designed to generate word-of-mouth, which is the most effective channel for promoting the firm's QuickBooks software since it is only for CPAs (a separate product is marketed to Small Business Owners). These efforts are also developed to attract press coverage and social media attention helping to expand the reach beyond California. 

While executives decline to discuss their budget, Intuit spent $133 million on ads in the U.S. last year according to Kantar Media, although this expenditure covers all Intuit divisions. 

RPA is likely to have a new partner for the next event. This week, Intuit named digital shop Essence as global digital AOR for their small business group, including the QuickBooks platform. RPA will continue to manage the advertising duties: creative, production, media planning/some buying, experiential, and account management.  

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