Don’t think it would have occurred to me to wonder about this at any point in my newspaper life, but now that I’m into the whole marketing/PR/Mad Man thing now, I find myself wondering about stuff like this…
So I hear that Aflac has fired Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of their duck. You know, the one that says “Aflac!” Here’s something about it, although you’ve probably already heard:
He’ll quack for Aflac no more.
Insurance giant Aflac axed comic Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of its iconic duck yesterday after he posted jokes on Twitter about the quake and tsunami in Japan.
“I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now,’ ” was among the dozen tweets Gottfried fired off over the weekend….
I first heard about it at breakfast this morning, and didn’t think anything of it (no skin off my beak), then heard it again at ADCO later, and at that point thought, “Wait a minute…”
Why, I wonder, did they turn to Gilbert Gottfried to do the Aflac duck to begin with? I mean, he’s moderately famous, although irritating, and you pay a premium for that. Agents to feed and all. What was the value they got from that?
Because, while I was well aware of the ad campaign — it’s memorable, and sort of clever in an absurd way — I never knew that that was Gilbert Gottfried doing it. Sure, when you hear it, it sounds like Gilbert Gottfried… but it sounds like Gilbert Gottfried when I say “Aflac!” in a nasal quack, too. (Brian from ADCO agreed when he heard me do it at lunch today. I don’t just say these things, people; I check to confirm first. Back off; I’m a professional.)
It really doesn’t take any special talent. And unless they were getting a bounce from people knowing it was Gottfried, why pay him to do it?
So… here’s what I’m thinking. If Aflac is hard up, I’ll do the duck voice for them from now on. I might even do it at a discount from what they were paying Gottfried. And I won’t make horrible jokes about the poor Japanese, or any other suffering people.
I can use the phone to get that new iPhone or HTC Thunderbolt (which I think is coming out Thursday!) or whatever I get to replace my moribund Blackberry, which is definitely on its last legs. So this couldn’t have happened at a better time.
I hope I’m making this offer in time, before they line up someone else… You gotta move fast these days…