2011 Platinum PR Awards – Hall of Fame: AFLAC

Aflac Duck

He has his own Facebook page (278,000 likes) and his own Twitter account (12,000) followers. He was born on Jan. 1, 2000, and in 2011, after the tsunami in Japan, his voice changed in a very public—and embarrassing—fashion. Adolescence is tough on all of us, but when you represent a large supplemental insurance provider such awkwardness can leave its scars. But it all just rolled off the Aflac Duck’s back. From his hatching to the present moment, the Duck has given Aflac a personality, a positive image and a sense of fun. More than his creators could have possibly guessed, the Aflac Duck has taken on a life of his own. He’s waddled across all media, telling consumers how to get the “Aflacts” about how the company’s insurance works, generating more than 90% brand recognition. And he has represented the company in its corporate responsibility programs, most recently in the Aflac Duck Wingman bead as part of its campaign with Beads of Courage, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic beads for children facing cancer and other illnesses. This duck can’t fly, but he’s got legs that will take him the distance. —SG

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