Wednesday, December 1, 2004


The AFLAC Duck has gone pan-dimensional.

In a commercial that aired back in January, we saw that there is a cartoon version of the beleaguered insurance spokesman residing in the Tooniverse and hanging out with icons Bugs and Daffy.

But now the fussy duck is slated to pop up in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and a series of ads promoting the movie.

Director Brad Silberling sought out the insurance company's mascot, known for delivering insistent shouts of "AFLAC!" in TV commercials, as a way to add comic relief in one of the scenes in the film, Al Johnson, AFLAC's vice president of advertising and branding, said.

In the upcoming movie, the duck is shown being launched off a boat. But that's as far as the in-movie product placement will go. The duck will be identifiable, but it won't be heard yelling its usual AFLAC plug, Johnson said.

The insurer also has agreed to spend $5 million to promote the Paramount Pictures film, which is based on the first three books in the Lemony Snicket children's series.

"Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" opens in theaters Dec. 17.

For a relatively new addition to the roster of advertising mascots, the AFLAC Duck (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) has certainly waddled his way to the front of the class. I have no doubt that one day we'll see the quackser be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

There may be only one way to stop his meteoric rise to fame..... Taking a cue from Morley Safer and reversing it, a most ironic fate would be for the AFLAC Duck to be nibbled to death by a network TV programmer.

Now that would be an unfortunate event.


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