Quacking up on Wall Street…

On Thursday, Wall Street ducked… er… not exactly.

aflaclogoRather, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had its closing bell quacked by the AFLAC duck. Why? Because, believe it or not, it is the spokeduck’s 10th birthday and the supplemental insurance company’s 55th year in business.

Timed for this occasion, AFLAC’s president and COO, Paul Amos appeared on Fox Business for an interview — with the duck. That’s right, the duck was on camera and somewhat well behaved.

aflacduckfoxbiz

The interview was quite fun and educational. Amos addressed health care reform and talked about AFLAC’s success in Japan (documented here).

Another item that came up during the interview was the popularity of duck swag.  Timed for the Olympics, there is a snow boarder version of the duck that can be purchased for $15.00.

In 2005, a book called Bang!: Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World, was released.  In it authors Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval discuss how the duck came about.  If you don’t want to read the 256 page book, a shorter version of the story can be found here.
Notables:

  • AFLAC is the leading provider of supplemental insurance sold at the workplace in the United States, and the largest foreign insurer in Japan.
  • Insuring more than 40 million people worldwide, the company has 39,000 licensed agents in the U.S. alone, selling its products through more than 187,000 U.S. payroll groups.
  • Its flagship product, cancer expense protection, is now marketed along with insurance for accident and disability, hospital indemnity, long-term care, intensive care, and others.
  • In 2000, the AFLAC duck first made advertising history when he waddled onto the scene in a commercial called “Park Bench”. Since then, the AFLAC Duck has become one of America’s most beloved icons, the punch line of late-night comedians, an annual Christmas collectible at Macy’s and a wildly popular figure on Facebook.
  • The advertising campaign has catapulted the company’s name recognition from approximately 12 percent to 94 percent.
  • AFLAC trades on the NYSE, symbol is AFL.
  • There was a story in The  New York Times by Stuart Elliott that discussed the AFLAC duck (“Not Daffy or Donald, but Still Aflac’s Rising Star“)

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