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Success Story No. 1 Aflac

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Campaign: “Aflac for Business” Goal: Communicate to business decision-makers that Aflac offers insurance plans to help them attract and retain employees, add benefits and save money Duration of campaign: March to present Integrated elements: TV, radio, print, online Results: More than 217,000 visitors to Aflacforbusiness.com since launch of campaign; visitors spend an average of eight to 10 minutes on site. Budget: Undisclosed Agencies: Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, for offline; OgilvyOne, New York, for online The Aflac duck debuted in the workplace in an integrated campaign called “Aflac for Business,” which began in March. The ongoing campaign, developed by Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, and OgilvyOne, New York, includes television, print, radio and online, and is aimed at HR professionals and business decision-makers at companies of all sizes. “The objective is to communicate to business decision-makers that Aflac offers insurance products and services they will find of value to attract and retain employees, add benefits to their current packages and possibly save them dollars,” said Al Johnson, VP-marketing services at Aflac. “We wanted to communicate those three messages to business decision-makers at companies from small businesses to large corporations. The target audience is anyone that has influence in the decision of adding benefits to a company's insurance package.” The ads are tailored to different industries, including hospitality, retail and health care. Two 15-second TV spots, which began airing in May, feature the duck in different industry situations. For example, in a spot called “Pool,” aimed at the hospitality industry, the Aflac duck is shown standing at the top of a slide at a hotel swimming pool. Voice-over says, “When this hotel added Aflac to complement its benefits package, it made a big splash with the employees.” The duck quacks “Aflac,” then slides down and splashes water all over a waiter. In another 15-second spot, “Shoe Store,” the duck is trying on shoes in a retail store. Here voice-over says, “When this shoe store added Aflac to its employee benefits package at no direct cost to the company, it was a perfect fit.” The duck finds the perfect pair of shoes—blue and white saddle shoes—and then moonwalks across the store. “We have the advantage of this great icon—the Aflac duck,” said David Findel, account director for Aflac at Kaplan Thaler Group. “We wanted the ads to be consistent with the Aflac brand and really feel like the Aflac brand. With b-to-b, there is a slightly different message, which is communicating the benefits of Aflac that employers would find relevant.” Aflac used a mix of integrated media to communicate the overall brand messaging, as well as provide deeper information relevant to specific target audiences. “With the 15-second spots, we keep our message quick and simple,” Johnson said. “With print and radio, we get into more depth; and when you go to Aflacforbusiness.com, you get more details specific to the size of your business and your industry.” Print ads, which are also tailored to individual industries, show the Aflac duck visiting different types of businesses. In one ad, aimed at small businesses, the duck is underneath a car in an auto repair shop, with only its feet sticking out. Copy reads, “How Aflac can help your business get more mileage from its benefit package.” Another, aimed at the health care industry, shows the duck in the newborn section of a hospital. Copy reads, “When this hospital learned that Aflac was delivered to them at no direct cost, it was a welcome addition.” The campaign also includes ads with the duck in a restaurant and in an ice-cream parlor. Print ads are running in broad business publications, including Fast Company, Fortune, Fortune Small Business and The Wall Street Journal, as well as trade magazines such as HR Executive, Hospitals & Health Networks and Workforce Management. In addition, the campaign includes radio spots on national network radio, focused more on small businesses. In the radio spots, business owners and HR professionals are interviewed about the benefits of adding Aflac to their employee plans, with the duck making a cameo appearance in each. Online ads, based on the TV and print executions, are running on such sites as Bankrate.com, BusinessJournals.com, Healthleaders.com and LinkedIn.com. All the ads drive users to Aflacforbusiness.com, where they can learn more about Aflac insurance plans for small, midsize and large businesses, as well as programs for specific industries. Since its debut in late March, more than 217,000 visitors have come to the site, spending an average of eight to 10 minutes. In addition to the new ad campaign, Aflac is using sports sponsorships, including programs with NASCAR and the Iron Girl Event Series to target business owners. “We are using our NASCAR sponsorship in specific b-to-b efforts to gain entry into other businesses that are participating in the sport, and with the hospitality effort we are bringing in business decision-makers to build relationships,” Johnson said.
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