Having given comedian Gilbert Gottfried the heave-ho for a PR faux pas, the insurance company Aflac is trying to drum up some good PR by holding a public casting call to find the new voice for its iconic duck. Do you have the quack they’re looking for?
The company plans to hold auditions in six cities during the first week of April for the voice of the Aflac Duck. Interested parties will find a complete job description and information about how to secure an audition appointment on either Monster.com or at Quackaflac.com, where job seekers can also submit applications online.
Live auditions will be held in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta. While these audition slots will be limited, an online casting call has opened and will remain open until April 1, 2011 at midnight Pacific time.
Since 2000, the Aflac Duck has appeared in 52 television ads and numerous radio ads, helping increase the company’s brand recognition from slightly more than 10 percent to an amazing 93 percent. The Aflac Duck is also a symbol for the company’s primary philanthropic cause, helping Aflac raise more than $62 million for the treatment and research of childhood cancer.
“Being the new voice of the Aflac Duck carries responsibilities far beyond recording duck sounds,” said Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna. “The Aflac Duck symbolizes our promise to be there in times of need. It represents the philanthropy and the ethical values embraced by our employees and more than 72,000 independent sales agents across the nation, so we are looking for the best person to help advance our brand and business in a way that demonstrates our values.”
All auditions — online or live — will be a maximum of 30 seconds and will irrevocably become the property of Aflac. There will be limited availability for live auditions, so those seeking to interview in one of the six cities where casting calls will take place should make an appointment by following the instructions on Monster.com or Quackaflac.com. Live interviews will be held by appointment only. The ten finalists selected for a callback will be required to conduct a second audition either via satellite or in person in New York City.
“The Aflac Duck is fun, but it conveys a very important message. We believe this is the best job available in America today, so applicants should prepare like this is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Zuna said.
While searching for the new voice of the Aflac Duck, Aflac is continuing its television advertising schedule with “Silent Movie,” which stars the Aflac Duck in a scene that resembles an old silent movie genre film. In “Silent Movie,” the Aflac Duck rescues a damsel in distress “in much the same way that he provides a safety net for policyholders who are sick or injured.”