January 11, 2010

Ducks Deluxe

Sometimes success in advertising is not pretty.

A perfect example of that is Aflac. Personally, I have always hated that duck campaign. It reminds me of some annoying, gimmicky throwback to the 50's or 60's.

Nonetheless, it was very successful. As a matter of fact, in a category that is replete with advertising that is invisible, lame and ineffectual, it was successful beyond any reasonable expectation.

In 2006,  I read that Aflac had hired a new cmo. I read some comments from this guy and I knew the agency was in trouble.

It was typical MBA drivel from someone who was well positioned to screw the whole thing up and clearly had no appreciation for what the agency had done.

Soon I noticed that the Aflac advertising, which up until then had only been mildly annoying, turned into witless, hysterical shrieking.

Apparently that guy didn't last long. They hired a new cmo last year, and a few weeks ago the other shoe dropped. The agency was fired.

Listen to this bullshit:
"... Aflac is looking to leverage our marketing investment in the most effective, efficient and creative manner to ensure relevance across all channels to fully support our sales efforts."
Oh, now I see...

The most frustrating part of running an ad agency is that sometimes you are at the mercy of people you wouldn't hire to sweep the lobby.

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