Sunday, May 15, 2011
What have we learned from Aflac?
After thousands of people auditioned for the voice of the Aflac duck, Dan McKeague from Hugo, Minnesota, was chosen. Congratulations, Dan, and happy quacking. We have already heard his voice and seen one commercial, but what have we learned from Aflac’s marketing campaign?
First, social media and its incredible reach were at the core. Perhaps, no social media policy existed for Aflac employees, or the previous voice-over celebrity thought he didn’t have to abide by the policy. Also, who was Aflac’s social media watchdog, translation, who was tasked with the responsibility of monitoring comments shared on social media sites on behalf of Aflac or Aflac representatives? It is crucial to remember that, even if social media activities are outsourced, there must be a watchdog within a company to oversee all social media commentary.
Second, how did social media integrate with all other elements of Aflac’s marketing? Existing and prospective customers see ducks on the company’s collateral, as plush representative give-aways of the brand, and as part of television and print ads. But does the person behind the voice actually connect with these other elements? Perhaps, the new voice can be better integrated so that the quintessential quack becomes an embodiment of all marketing outreach.
And third, exposure is the name of the game, but only as long as it is handled well. This situation could easily have become the PR nightmare of the decade, but instead, it evolved into an activity featuring thousands of participants and enthusiastically watched by the insurance industry as well as the mainstream media – which generated a ton of publicity for Aflac. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the duck’s character is entertaining and charming.
So, what did you learn from this social media event, the ensuing campaign, and how Aflac handled the situation that you can apply to your business?
Click this link to watch the clever introduction of Aflac's new voice:
Posted by Debbie Laskey, MBA