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Nickel Diner is the Spot for H&R Block

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, November 19, 2010, at 01:44PM
IMG_2184 David Markland [Flickr]

The Nickel Diner's new sign was installed as part of last weekend's H&R Block commercial shoot and is there to stay.

Since it opened in August 2008, foodie-focused attention has been lavishly sprinkled on the Nickel Diner like those bacon bits on their maple-glazed donuts.

Now the throwback diner that romanticizes the harsher days of Downtown has been used to show that tax preparation can be a kinder, sweeter experience.

This past Sunday and Monday, the Nickel Diner was the hired locale for H&R Block's creative agency. “The gist of the commercial is that H&R Block gives you the opportunity to revisit your taxes in case anything was missed,” says Nickel Diner's Kristen Trattner.

Last week, the eatery sent out Twitter messages calling for those with 2009 tax returns not prepared by H&R Block to audition. Anyone with a diner-patron look was favored by casting agents.

Tratnner says that she and around fifteen of Nickel Diner's wait and kitchen staff were hired at SAG rates to appear in the commercial. Around fifteen patrons were also cast to be featured in what Tratnner was told will be a sixty second spot. She adds one of her cooks also received "between four and five hundred dollars" by refiling an old tax return.

Not only did staff get paid, but the Nickel Diner was also granted a location fee and received new signage courtesy of the production company replacing a vinyl banner that previously hung above the eatery's entrance.

The all-around positive experience made it easier to complete the national spot. It was also another example of the Nickel Diner, as Tratnner says, “taking care of their own."

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