It might be considered a drop in the bucket for an insurance company whose employees and sales agents have raised more than $110 million over two decades to treat and find a cure for childhood cancer and blood disorders.
But aside from the $3 million in cash it has generated overall, Aflac’s annual holiday duck campaign is important in other ways. It gets the plush creatures into Macy’s department stores across the country, providing supreme visibility for the critical effort.
It also puts them in the hands of people who care about kids and want to reduce the prevalence of pediatric cancer, if not eliminate it altogether someday. That, hopefully, will breed future sales when purchasers tell them why they bought them.
And did we mention the stuffed, colorful animals make great stocking stuffers, with many folks collecting them each year?
It has been 16 years since Aflac and Macy’s entered a partnership in which the holiday ducks, festooned in various costumes and gear, have been sold for a nominal price. This season, they again are $10 for a 6-inch duck and $15 for the 10-inch fuzzy fowl.
Since the inception, the ducks have been decked out as Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, skiers, skaters, snowboarders and sledders. They’ve also come in various colors and styles of outfits, including some with ear muffs and another in a plaid sleeping gown clutching a candle.
For 2016, the holiday duck is caroling, complete with a top hat, green scarf and a red music book. As is customary, squeezing the stuffed duck will elicit the familiar refrain of “Aflaaaaaac!”
“We are pleased to again partner with Macy’s for our beloved Aflac duck to bring holiday cheer while raising awareness and furthering this important cause,” Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos said as the campaign kicked off a few weeks ago.
For those who can’t make it to one of the 250 Macy’s stores to buy a duck or two, they also are available at www.aflacduckprints.com.
Aflac said it will sweeten the charitable pot as well through its “Duckprints” campaign, in which it contributes $2 for social activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Duckprints. Viewing Duckprints-related videos on YouTube also count. The donations cap out at $1.5 million, it said.
All of this means that with just over three shopping weeks left before Christmas, consider giving to an ultra-deserving cause that has the potential to make a wonderful impact on the world, while also simply making someone smile. Those are fine gifts in and of themselves.