Aflac’s Duck Heads to the Big Screen

NEW YORK The Aflac duck is ready for its close-up.

The adventurous character, known for ads in which it quacks the company’s name, briefly appears in the upcoming Paramount film Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, a representative for Aflac confirmed.

To support the appearance, Aflac’s agency, Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York, has created a 30-second spot showing footage from the film in which the duck is tossed about on a ship during a storm. The budget to support the tie-in is $5 million, though it is unclear how much of that will be spent on measured media.

Laura Kane, a representative for the Columbus, Ga.-based client, said the spot breaks Monday on Hispanic television stations and nationally on Tuesday. It will run through Dec. 17 to coincide with the opening of the children’s film that stars Meryl Streep. Jude Law provides the voice for Lemony Snicket.

The Aflac spot’s voiceover also plays on the title of the movie: “In a world where unfortunate events happen, it would be unfortunate not to have that insurance.”

Kane said the movie deal was negotiated with Paramount by Aflac vp of advertising Al Johnson and Kaplan Thaler.

Kaplan Thaler has used celebrities such as Yogi Berra and Chevy Chase in its Aflac commercials, but this is the first entertainment property tie-in for the character.