Aflac Duck to Take Backseat in Future Campiagns
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.