The Aflac duck is as old as the hills but the brand remains as relevant as ever, thanks to a new ad campaign that dramatizes the product benefits in a fresh and meaningful way.
Created by the Kaplan Thaler Group 14 years ago (an eternity in ad years), Aflac found fame and fortune with its spokes-duck whose distinctive “voice” contributed mightily to name recognition and brand likeability. The spots have pivoted from the standard product-as-hero (others talking about the benefits Aflac insurance confers) to the duck himself actually living and facing the financial challenges an individual might experience if suddenly unable to work.
Apparently, the duck has been in a serious accident and the story moves from his doctor’s press conference (where reporters are schooled in what Aflac insurance covers), to the duck’s bedside (where the medical team discusses his disabilities to hilarious effect) and on to physical and occupational therapy sessions (where the duck can totally devote himself to recovery without worrying about bills and expenses because they’re covered by Aflac insurance). All, while the patient reacts with eyes wide open but bill taped shut.
The acting is brilliant (a little tongue in cheek as befits the brand image but utterly believable), the situations, totally identifiable and the copy points, memorably made. Smart storytelling at its best.
Beyond TV, the campaign also has a social element to reinforce brand loyalty. Viewers, urged to send the duck a get-well card, are directed to his Facebook page where, according to Adweek, he has already received 30,000 messages.