Aflac Names Dagger as Agency of Record

The independent shop replaces Publicis Seattle

The Aflac duck has new representation. Aflac, Getty Images
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Aflac has chosen Atlanta-based Dagger as its agency of record.

Dagger takes over from Publicis Seattle, which has served as the supplemental insurance company’s creative agency of record since 2016.

According to Dagger, which brought on chief creative officer Al Patton last year, it was named Aflac’s agency of record late last year after serving as the insurer’s social media shop. Dagger has been working with Aflac since 2016 and became its social agency of record in 2018.

“We are ecstatic to extend our relationship with Aflac, a company that has truly driven to adopt a modern media mentality and generate new ways to capture consumer attention,” said Mike Popowski, CEO of Dagger, in a statement. “We’re especially eager to help facilitate Aflac’s offerings across broadcast platforms while continuing to leverage a historic piece of brand iconography in the Aflac Duck.”

Other agencies that Aflac works with include Spark Foundry, Marina Maher Communications, The Bantam Group, YAH Agency, Melt Atlanta, CAA Brand Consulting and Brand Positioning Doctors.

It’s unclear if Publicis Seattle is still working with Aflac in any capacity. An Aflac spokesperson said the “Publicis network has been an important part of Aflac’s brand history and remains among our roster of agency brand resources.”

According to Kantar, which doesn’t track spending on social channels, Aflac spent nearly $84 million on media last year in the U.S.

Dagger recently created a spot for Aflac that ran on ABC and ESPN during the NFL Draft. The spot is part of Aflac’s new “Not Alone” campaign, which focuses on the “wide range of emotions Americans experience when they are hit with unexpected health care costs, emphasizing that Aflac helps pay out-of-pocket expenses health insurance does not cover.”

The commercial is also running across NBC, Fox, Bravo, Hulu and other platforms. A second spot is slated to debut in June.

The “Not Alone” campaign is part of a five-year marketing plan Aflac implemented in 2019 that aims to address misunderstandings people have about the company and its products. It kicked off with a spot created by Publicis Seattle called “Aflac Isn’t,” which featured people inaccurately describing what kind of insurance the company provides.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.