Tag Archives: insurance

Aflac duck ruffles feathers after riding the subway

25 Sep

Ey up duck! I’ve got to hand it to Aflac for using a duck to promote its insurance business by letting it do its thing in New York, including riding the subway.

The Aflac duck has been part of the company’s brand identity since 1999, after an advertising executive walking around Central Park muttering the business name realised it sounded a lot like a duck’s ‘quack’. After that, the Aflac duck became the star of TV adverts, but never before has the brand used a live one to promote the business.

And it might not get the chance again after the news of a duck on the loose ruffled feathers. MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg stressed that ‘ducks don’t belong on the subway… especially waddling through stations’, obviously.

I do like a rebel stunt and the fact that a risk averse insurance client signed this off is simply brilliant. Live animals spotted in unusual settings will always get tongues wagging, and Aflac’s achieved just that with the New York Post and the Huffington Post having its say.

So the stunt’s paid off and no cringe-worthy branding was needed because the duck has so much history with the company. But I doubt they’ll be able to smuggle a duck on the subway again. Adam’s got his beady eye Aflac now. But, what’s a duck meant to do?

According to PR Week, he’d come straight from a recording session with N Sync’s Lance Bass and Joey Fatone.

Good PR by Aflac or has it just been spun a tale by the quack doctors?

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Budding directors have 6 secs to impress John Lewis

20 Aug

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John Lewis at Christmas has become a highlight for consumers with its heart-warming adverts – and now the department store’s insurance division is giving its customers the chance to shoot their own using Vine.

Using the six-second video platform, customers are invited to direct their own stop-start motion picture inspired by the brand’s latest offering to promote its ‘What Matters Most‘ campaign.

The animated advert is a little dull compared to what we we know John Lewis is capable of, but it gets the message across with its strap line: ‘If it matters to you, it matters to us.’ But, that’s not the important part. It’s the competition. It’s interesting because the mechanic is simple. Shoot six-seconds of video content, upload onto Twitter incorporating the relevant hashtag and wait to see if you’re a winner. If you’re wondering the prize is £1,000 of vouchers and runners up get one of three Canon cameras.

However, I would’ve liked to have seen adam&eveDDB, the agency behind the concept, bring in some better known judges to create another news story. My mind immediately thinks of Rus Yusupov, Colin Kroll or Dom Hofmann – Vine’s co-founders (Ok, not immediately but you understand my thinking.) Failing that, Nick Park or winners from the British Animation Awards or the British Animation Film Festival. Advertising gurus Simon Lloyd and Ben Tollett could sit on the panel but I don’t think they should run the game entirely because it simply doesn’t ooze credibility. In fact, it undermines it. Perhaps budgets play a part, but quite often people are happy to donate their time for free in exchange for national PR.

Currently there’s no chatter on Twitter about the competition. But, I’ll give the campaign its dues – despite the top two YouTube clips generating just two views to date.

Perhaps the brand would do well to front one version of its animation with details about the competition and, like its criteria, edit its content down to six-seconds to further inspire entrants.

Overall, the social media campaign is almost there. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be reviewed in time for Christmas.

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