Everyone knows the Aflac duck.
“We’re lucky in the respect that the Aflac duck can stand alone and people automatically know it’s Aflac,” said Gail Galuppo, SVP and CMO for Aflac.
“The Aflac duck, to me, is as iconic as the Target bull's-eye and the Nike swoosh.”
But the insurance brand needed to reinforce its product, not just its spokesbird. Just because consumers know the company name, it doesn’t mean they know about its services, like supplemental insurance.
“I was challenged with communicating what supplementary insurance really was and to show people the ripple effect in someone’s life if they have an unexpected illness or injury [without] supplemental insurance,” Galuppo told AdExchanger.
Supplemental insurance takes care of issues that aren’t covered by primary health insurance, and with 65% of Americans banking less than $1,000 in savings to cover an unexpected medical expense, Aflac saw an opportunity.
The insurance company debuted a 30-second spot Tuesday night during NBC’s “The Voice,” designed to capture more of Aflac’s core demo: young adults between the age of 25 and 35.
In the commercial, a son accidentally whacks his dad in the face with a baseball bat and the family must decide whether to spend the money on a Hawaiian vacation or on saving the dad’s broken face. That is, until the Aflac duck emerges from mom’s bag and reminds everyone they’re insured and can still go to Hawaii.
The TV spot, designed to drive awareness and understanding, sits at the top of Aflac’s carefully orchestrated funnel. Digital assets tied to the linear buy are meant for middle-of-the funnel actions that help influence consideration.
This big TV buy follows Aflac’s Super Bowl campaign, which Galuppo said tripled lead gen. Aflac hopes its most recent spot draws similar results.
“This is new for Aflac: quantifying the impact marketing has on sales directly,” Galuppo said.
Because of the importance of lead gen, insurance marketers are big on measuring performance.
But Aflac has made large strides to move its sizable media budget (US measured media spend was close to $120 million at last count, according to Kantar) to where its customers are consuming content.
“We still buy traditional linear media, but have a big push in online video as well,” Galuppo said. “We’ve really increased our emphasis on digital and, over the past two years, have made a 15-percentage-point shift from linear to digital.”
Aflac is ramping up on original content for its small business hub, beyond the snackable content intended for its duck’s many social followers.
“Our goal is to have a 360-degree view and to optimize across paid search, paid social, while continuing to invest in our website to drive SEO or online video and streaming devices,” Galuppo said. “We’ll be creating more content so Aflac is top-of-mind to partners and advocates for living a healthy, but balanced, lifestyle.”