Aflac Duck to Take Backseat in Future Campiagns

aflac_duck_blue.jpg

Everyone knows the Duck. Everyone's seen the Duck. Everyone's heard the Duck. Ben Affleck shared The Tonight Show couch with the Duck. The Duck has 85 percent brand awareness. But, what the hell does the duck stand for? That's the very question New Aflac CMO Jeff Herbert is dealing with right now. He claims the Duck has gained the company awareness for awareness' sake but hasn't done a good job supporting Aflac's brand messaging. He plans to lessen the Duck's role in future marketing and, surprise, actually explain what Aflac does. Gee, now there's a novel concept. Tell people what you actually do.

Herbert has reorganized Aflac's marketing department and plans to alter the company's media mix. relying less on television.

UPDATE: Aflac to media: Damn you, you trigger-happy journalists! A recent press release pumped out rom Aflac today states, "Contrary to recent media reports, Aflac has no intention of abandoning its use of the Aflac Duck." Herbert said, "Like all of America, we love the Aflac Duck. It is as central to our marketing efforts today as it will continue to be going forward." Um, Jeff, we never said the Aflac duck was disappearing. Ad Age said its wings would be clipped and we said it would take a backseat. OK, so maybe that was misleading and we (well, at least us here at Adrants) apologize if we misconstrued things.

However, we do think your brand needs to be identified with something more than a duck. You've achieved great awareness. We still don't know what you do. Maybe we're dumb but your advertising and that of many other's could stand to be a bit more descriptive and a bit less cute. After all, you do want people to hand their money over to you? They can't do that if they don't know what you can do for them.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Campaigns   

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Comments



Comments

I am amazed they really are learning about effective advertising, well maybe. The Aflac Duck was a great move when it was introduced. Every sticking time I see a duck I think of Aflac, I even to stop and watch the commercial to see if it's a new one. Every other aspect of the commercials especially the copy has stunk from day one. The duck isn't the problem children!

Posted by: roy on February 20, 2007 2:21 PM

I guess they heard you.

Long Live the Aflac Duck
COLUMBUS, Ga., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Contrary to recent media reports, Aflac has no intention of abandoning its use of the Aflac Duck.

"Like all of America, we love the Aflac Duck," said Jeff Herbert, Aflac's Chief Marketing Officer. "It is as central to our marketing efforts today as it will continue to be going forward."

Since its introduction, the Aflac Duck has helped the company achieve 90 percent brand awareness.

"In January, we launched Aflac's 28th spot using the lovable duck to explain that Aflac's insurance products help pay for routine expenses such as rent, utility bills and car payments when people are temporarily unable to work," said Herbert. "We look forward to unveiling new and exciting Aflac Duck commercials later this year as we continue to spread the message about the need for Aflac products."

For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for six consecutive years and in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for nine consecutive years. Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine's listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine's listing of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.

Media Contacts:
Laura Kane Mechell Clark
Aflac Incorporated Aflac Incorporated
(706) 596-3493 Voice 706-243-8004 Voice
(706) 320-2288 Fax 706-320-2288 Fax
lkane@aflac.com meclark@aflac.com

Posted by: pd on February 20, 2007 3:40 PM

It's a horrible, horrible campaign, more meaningless than the Geico gecko. Every time it comes one I will change the channel, mute the TV, run screaming, whatever it takes. I've been cringing over that friggen Aflac duck for years, and I still don't know what the hell the company does.

Posted by: daveednyc on February 20, 2007 5:34 PM

What the fuck is Linda Kaplan Thaler going to write about and give the same stultifying speech about at all those boring conferences from now on? Jesus she's "milked" that duck for years. How about a gecko? Oh shit someone's done that, frogs... dogs... cats... monkeys... No, I know... How about a giant spider that turns into a man... Oh... Yeah. I know, what about doing some decent fucking ads?

Posted by: George Parker on February 20, 2007 10:58 PM

while not a huge fan of the duck, it certainly has done a great job of building awareness. unlike some others, i actually think it's done a pretty good job of explaining their product as well. every ad shows someone talking about 'that insurance you need when you're out of work or can't cover you bills' or something to that effect. while i'm sure their product is more involved than that, you can't expect TV to do all of the heavy lifting in that regard. get people to your website, where more detailed info can be obtained.

Posted by: t on February 21, 2007 11:25 AM

T you must be a young pup! I'll forget the "it's done a pretty good job of explaining their product as well" statement, because they haven't.

You are right is saying that they need to drive people to their web site (do they have one)where they can draw a picture and ask for the sale. And make the web effort easy to play around in.

Do they do print? I haven't seen it or it just hasn't made me stop and read it.

All they have right now is a duck, and a name most know, now sell the product.

Posted by: roy on February 22, 2007 10:07 AM

Selling the product is what the agents are for. The duck was to build name recognition. Yes we have a website pretty easy to figure out hmmmm.... Aflac.com

New ads coming out in April to explain more about the products but they are pretty simple. Policies provide cash to you if sicl or injured based on predetermined amounts.

Posted by: Agent on March 4, 2007 4:46 PM

Selling the product is what the agents are for. The duck was to build name recognition. Yes we have a website pretty easy to figure out hmmmm.... Aflac.com

New ads coming out in April to explain more about the products but they are pretty simple. Policies provide cash to you if sick or injured based on predetermined amounts.

Posted by: Agent on March 4, 2007 4:46 PM

Selling the product is what the agents are for. The duck was to build name recognition. Yes we have a website pretty easy to figure out hmmmm.... Aflac.com

New ads coming out in April to explain more about the products but they are pretty simple. Policies provide cash to you if sick or injured based on predetermined amounts.

Posted by: Agent on March 4, 2007 4:46 PM

you've gotta be a very dense person to NOT know what those commercials are about. try to stop focusing on the duck and listen to the dialogue, idiot.

Posted by: james on March 11, 2007 3:05 AM

I hope they drop they duck... I hate those ads. The only reason I'm even on this page is because I search for "fuck aflac" on google.

Posted by: chris on April 26, 2007 8:02 PM




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