Giving Aflac's Duck a voice on social media

Stephen Whiteside

Most brand custodians have a playbook to guide their social-media strategies, but only Aflac relies on a "Duck dossier" to ensure its output takes flight across sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The insurance provider's duck mascot has been a much-loved fixture in TV commercials for 15 years. Its presence on Facebook and Twitter dates back to 2009, with Instagram following four years later. And such interactive platforms, according to Kip Havel – Aflac's vp/communications and content marketing – allow the firm's avian ambassador get involved in "multiple narratives" online.

"You've seen the Duck in quirky situations; you've seen it doing things on TV. But social – and those channels – really give us an opportunity to take a look at where the Duck lives; what does it do on a daily basis; and how can you take its humour in ways we never could on TV, and extend it," he told delegates at South by Southwest (SXSW).