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How Aflac's duck was created

In early 2000 when insurance company Aflac (AFL) was attempting to increase its brand recognition, which at the time was hovering around 11%, longtime CEO Dan Amos decided to take a risk. He took a bet on an advertising campaign that featured two men on a park bench talking about insurance, featuring a duck quacking, “Aflac.” The concept was created by advertising agency The Kaplan Thaler Group, after two of its creative agents were sitting around a lake in Central Park discussing ad campaign options for the company. They heard ducks quacking, which to them sounded like, “Aflac.” The concept was taken to Amos, who agreed to run with it. It turns out the duck was a huge success and within three years Aflac doubled its sales, according to Aflac, and now has a brand recognition around 90-95%. Amos says, the duck is their golden goose.

For more on our Lead This Way series, including the full interview with Aflac CEO Dan Amos, click here, and tune in to Yahoo Finance Live for more expert insight and the latest market action, Monday through Friday.

Video transcript

Love it or hate it.

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That sound is recognized by 90% of Americans according to a Ceo Dan Amos who says, he bet his life on that dug.

But why picture it two creatives from an ad agency in central park on a park bench.

They heard the duck quacking and they heard Quack quack afl and they said that sounds like they're saying the name and the other one went, no.

And they came back and they said, we'll never do it.

And I said, talking about the company because we were making, not only was it humorous, but you were making fun of your name.

And I said, we'll absolutely do it.

The risk paid off the likability went through the roof afterward.

And so in a matter of three years, we doubled our sales in the United States.

The flag, duck is the golden goose.