It seemed like almost ever insurance company out there has a cartoon mascot: the Geico Gecko, Met-Life’s Snoopy, The General, and Esurance’s Erin, but Aflac did it a little differently. The Duck didn’t have lines that tried to explain the benefits of owning an Aflac policy or persuade you into buying anything. Instead it had one line: “Alfac.” The line was so well known that as you walk through the door of any business you would be instantly recognized as the ‘Duck Guy.’ Admittedly, the line was so over the top that most people did not dare wish to repeat it at the expense of sounding ridicules. The fact that the voice of the duck, who was voiced by Gilbert Godfrey, was so strained and so rough it would hurt your voice to even try to mimic it, and probably everyone else’s ears and mood in the area around you.
Working with Aflac for over two years, as an Insurance Producer, I got a sense of how much pride went into that little duck. Even in the office we would have incentives relating to the duck. Duck Bucks would be given out every time someone got a new client or assisted an existing client in a claim. In the weekly meets the talk on costumer service revolved around the duck. Whether you were making the rounds on your client service runs or you were visiting someone in the hospital to make sure their claims were processed and they were taken care of you brought a Duck Plush.
The Duck Plush, which came in various costumes, seemed to be what drove the heart of the brand. People would always ask for a new Duck Plush. They became kind of a collector’s item. Only employees or partners of Aflac could order the ducks and the company ran seasonal duck lines that differed from year to year. If you did a search on E-Bay you’d be sure to find some of the old ducks.
In the end I guess there is a reason why the duck is the face of the company. A lot of time and effort went into that duck. It is the brand of the company, and the one thing that people always seemed to enjoy and remember the company by.