The Aflac duck has long been a darling of Wall Street. But the pop culture phenomenon has legs ... or shall we say, webbed feet ... that extend to the original Macy’s department store in New York City.
The duck, in its philanthropic role for Columbus-based Aflac, can be seen in one of the retailer’s windows leading up to Christmas. Macy’s is selling the plush holiday ducks online and in stores around the U.S., with proceeds going toward research and treatment of childhood cancer.
“According to Macy’s, the window will garner 7 million impressions over a two-week period, which is pretty impressive for a duck from Georgia,” Aflac spokesman Jon Sullivan said Wednesday. “As far as we are concerned, when Macy’s showcases a brand in the window of its famous flagship store, you know that brand has entered an extremely exclusive circle.”
Of course, the duck also is now a regular in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, with its giant balloon image working its way through the Big Apple’s streets, along with Snoopy, Spider-Man and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Aflac, a supplemental health and life insurer in the U.S. and Japan, has raised more than $83 million in the fight against childhood cancer. More than $3 million of that is through the holiday duck campaign, which was launched in 2001.
The holiday ducks, like previous ones issued by Aflac, are in favor by some collectors. They come in two sizes — a 10-inch for $15.99 and a 6-inch for $11.99.
This year’s holiday duck was designed by cancer patient Michelle Nguyen, a 14-year-old from John’s Creek, Ga., in north Atlanta. She came up with the creature’s latest look, with it outfitted for the ski slopes in a green jacket, toboggan hat, goggles, skis and poles.