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Getting to Know the Company Behind The Duck

Posted by Megan McManaman on Thu, Mar 01, 2012

A career in market research can make you pretty sensitive to advertising. An ineffective commercial can make me throw up my hands wondering how it got on air; a great one makes me appreciate all the work that went into making it. Recently, I got to see a behind the scenes example of what goes into a memorable ad campaign in CMB’s work with Aflac.

I expect you’re familiar with Aflac’s Duck, the be-feathered icon has appeared in the brand’s commercials since 1999 and his signature quack is instantly recognizable.  But Aflac faced a challenge, people knew The Duck, but they weren’t sure what he wanted them to do, or much about the company he represented.  To address this branding challenge Aflac needed to educate the market about their products, differentiate themselves from the competition, all while keeping The Duck in the picture.

CMB worked with Aflac, to conduct an innovative brand positioning study using discrete choice. The study allowed the team to:

  • Identify the unique needs of  three target audiences: consumers, employers, and brokers

  • Identify how specific changes to elements of brand positioning affected each group’s desire to learn more about Aflac, leading to the development of  a user friendly simulator for the brand and their agency

  • Deliver optimized brand positioning specifying value statements, how to address audience goals, emotional and functional benefits, and the most compelling proof points.

The results helped guide Aflac and their agency to create ads that let customers get to know the company behind The Duck. Take a look at one of the ads that has gotten nearly 350,000 views on YouTube.

CMB and Aflac


Want to learn more? Join us for a Webinar on March 7th to hear CMB’s Rich Schreuer and Aflac’s Missy Wood share how CMB helped Aflac use the power of discrete choice to reposition their brand. Register here



Posted by Megan McManaman, Megan is the Content Marketing Manager at CMB. She enjoys watching and  parsing ads but draws the line at the ones with talking babies. Follow her on Twitter at @Megz79.

Topics: advertising, marketing strategy, brand health and positioning