It might be called a New Year’s Eve offer you can’t refuse.
In a new television commercial scheduled to debut Tuesday during the 80th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl football game, the Aflac duck has a lump-in-his-throat experience with a family of a tougher kind.
Hollywood bad guy Frank Vincent, known to viewers from the movie, “Goodfellas,” and the HBO hit series, “The Sopranos,” has a burning question for the duck from Columbus, Georgia.
That sets the stage for the winged creature’s sudden abduction from the streets of a big city. Former National Football League offensive tackle-turned-actor Matt Willig plays Vincent’s underling, grabbing the duck and jumping into a black limousine with the presumed mobster.
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“He’s clean boss,” Willig, a hulking former offensive tackle, says with a menacing expression, keeping a firm grip on the animal.
“Now listen to me, duck,” Vincent says with a sneer. “I have an associate that met with, uh, an unfortunate accident. While he’s been incompacitated, somebody’s been paying him cash. Now is this your doing?”
A visibly nervous duck quacks an affirmative, “Aflac,” with Vincent then asking if he were to meet with a similar fate as his associate, would the supplemental insurance firm pay him?
The bird gulps before shaking his head, yes.
“Nice,” the wise guy cracks. “This is your stop,” he says as the bird is tossed, feathers flapping, from the car.
The 30-second ad is the latest in the duck’s serial and typically comical campaign to let the world know that Aflac pays the claims of individuals and families fast. The company, headquartered on Wynnton Road in Columbus, insures more than 50 million people in Japan and the United States.
“Viewers will laugh as they connect with a strong message about how employers who offer Aflac at the workplace are helping their family of workers protect themselves from the financial effects of an unexpected accident or illness,” said Aflac Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna in a statement.
The commercial, titled “Family Business,” is also scheduled to air during the Tuesday primetime ABC special, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
The Sun Bowl, pitting the Virgina Tech Hokies against the UCLA Bruins in El Paso, Texas, kicks off at noon Tuesday on CBS. That game will begin a run for the duck ad through several college football bowl matchups, as well as on various broadcast and cable TV network programs.
As is customary, Aflac will supplement the new coverage with online efforts that include Aflac.com, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube videos.
The Aflac duck has appeared in more than 60 commercials — appearing with a number of actors, athletes and celebrities — hawking his company’s various health and life insurance products.
Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos introduced the world to the duck with the first commercial, titled “Park Bench,” in 2000. The campaign has proven hugely successful, giving the company name-brand recognition other firms can only dream of having. More than nine out of 10 people now recognize the company and its high-pitched, Aflac-quacking spokesduck, the company has said.