The business-winning Aflac duck campaign that we created and led for over 12 years (including all aspects of digital and social media) is in textbooks, the Harvard Business Review and on the Advertising Walk of Fame. Aflac was a little-known brand with 30% awareness after having spent $40-$50 million a year for 10 years. In just two years of the duck campaign, awareness jumped to 92% and Aflac went from a $4 billion company to $11 billion. As Aflac’s CEO told CNBC, “And all that changed was the advertising.” The campaign continues to this day.
Click here to see our interview for the Advertising Icon Museum. Below are some of our favorites from the campaign.
We were the creative directors of the relaunch of the Aflac website, to now include the unflappable Aflac duck throughout the engagement with the site. The duck served as a facilitator and educator to help customers understand the benefits of Aflac. We created entertaining and interactive animated pages, with visitors learning more with each click-through. The success of this effort was immediate when it came to the additional time that people now spent on the site. The content was also incorporated into the duck’s Twitter feed and Facebook and Instagram pages. The website won two Webby awards, including a Webby People’s Choice award. It was also a Hive Award winner (User Experience), Hive Award Honorable Mention (Design) and Telly Bronze winner (Use of Animation). Here is a sample of the 40+ animations on the site:
Social Media Cannes Winner: Finding The New Aflac Voice
From catastrophe to Titanium Cannes Winner. When longtime voice of the Aflac Duck, Gilbert Gottfried tweeted distastefully after the tsunami in Japan (where Aflac has 80 percent of its business), Gilbert was fired. How to save the duck and find it’s new voice? A huge multi-platform effort relying heavily on social media, resulted in a nationwide search for the next voice of the Aflac duck (meaning Tom and Eric listened to every single one of the 12,371 voice auditions!) before settling on one from Hugo, Minnesota.
After doing the Aflac duck consumer campaign for five years, we recommended a B2B campaign. Within months new account growth increased 10%. Midsize business accounts went up 20%.
Brokers control a lot of the action in the insurance business. However, Aflac's business model was based on their own sales force driving sales. This resulted in a still-thriving relationship for Aflac and insurance brokers.