Injured Aflac Duck Is Brilliant Marketing

As a Boston copywriter and Boston marketing expert, I can say assuredly that the new Aflac marketing strategy is nothing short of brilliant – and unbelievably effective.

Aflac – in case you don’t know – is an insurance company that pays cash benefits when any policyholder gets sick or hurt. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on their recovery, and not the financial stress that results from an accident or injury. In the United States, Aflac is the Number One provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance.

In the latest commercial, which looks exactly like a televised press conference, the Aflac Duck is facing what millions of Americans experience every year—a debilitating injury. In a new series of television commercials that debuted this past week during college football’s national BCS Championship game, it was revealed that this barnyard animal – just like anyone else – has been vulnerable to unexpected injuries. It seems that the Aflac duck has had to be hospitalized due to injuries to his wing and his beak. Hilarious. The “press conference” from “County Memorial Hospital” shows a doctor in scrubs explaining to a slew of reporters that the Aflac Duck has been injured. The reporters ask a series of questions, all of which have just one answer that the “doctor” states over and over– Aflac. “Who will pay the duck’s living expenses?” “Who will pay for his rental car?” “Who will pay for his gas and groceries?” The unmitigated answer is always “Aflac.” In the humorous ending of the press conference, the doctor notes that Aflac will also pay for the duck’s cell phone – but that he probably won’t use his phone, due to his injured beak.

I happened to see only a few seconds of this commercial when I was at the gym yesterday – the part about the injured beak – and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I laughed out loud.

This advertising campaign deserves a medal.

This is the kind of off-the-wall marketing that I love — so much, that I even co-wrote a book about it.

The campaign even lets consumers send an online get well card or e-Card to the Aflac Duck via the Duck’s Facebook page or at Your cards will help the duck get back on his (webbed) feet.

This brilliant marketing campaign demonstrates the challenges that everyday American’s can face when an unexpected accident or illness causes them to miss work. Only this time, it is the iconic Aflac Duck who will provide a first-hand perspective as a policyholder; while shedding light on how Aflac’s insurance policies can help protect families against common, but unexpected setbacks.

Aflac Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Michael Zuna said, “Our plan is to leverage the incredible awareness and likeability that the Aflac Duck has amassed over the past 12 years to connect with consumers in a personal way that will both entertain and inform. The new commercials will make viewers laugh, but they have a very serious message; if the Aflac Duck can get hurt, anyone can get hurt. And that’s why everyone needs Aflac.”

To read the Aflac press release and download Aflac’s latest commercial in Windows Media format please click here.

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