Advertising: Principles and Practice, 8th Edition
Segment 1: AFLAC
That wacky, quacky duck brought AFLAC to a high spot among most-recognizable ads and brand names. The insurance company is growing quickly as a result of this greater name recognition. It achieved 89 percent brand recognition in a relatively short time, resulting in $10 billion in sales and about a 25 percent compound growth rate.
AFLAC had spent millions of dollars on advertising with little or no effect and almost no market awareness. Clearly, the current strategy was not working. This led the management team to decide to try something bold to increase market awareness. The advertising agency came up with many different ideas, but one crazy one—a duck. AFLAC tested the ad concepts and, as we know today, the duck yielded the highest results. The goal of advertising is to create awareness, while the actual sale comes from the agents selling the complicated insurance products.
1. What other industries, products, or brands have used humor in advertising to help position themselves in the marketplace? Do you think the strategies have worked? Where wouldn’t humor work?
Humor wouldn’t work all that well with serious purchases (e.g., health), but one might think it wouldn’t have worked with something as serious (boring?) as insurance. Might that be because the humor is associated only with the name and not the insurance company’s attributes? B2B might be a place where humor might not seem appropriate (chemicals, machines), yet it might cut through the ad clutter.
2. Now that AFLAC is a widely known brand name, what should its next advertising campaign strategy be? How should AFLAC link the new strategy to the same business and marketing plans? Do you think the company should drop the duck? Why or why not?