Aflac duck gets Minnesota accent?

After saying goodbye to comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Aflac selects a sales manager from Minnesota to voice its mascot.

By Kim Peterson Apr 26, 2011 2:05PM
It didn't take Aflac (AFL) long to find a new voice for its duck.

After ousting comedian Gilbert Gottfried from the job, the insurance company has picked Daniel McKeague, a 36-year-old television advertising sales manager and father of three from Hugo, Minn., The Associated Press reports.

McKeague was one of 12,500 contestants who sent Aflac voice samples. He had the luxury of recording his 30-second clip at KQRS, the Minneapolis station where he works. He uploaded it to Aflac's website and later did a formal audition.

Post continues after this interview with Aflac's chief executive about the Japan disaster:
McKeague said he has imitated the Aflac duck for years. "Whenever that ad would come on, I would imitate the duck, and the kids loved it," he told AP. His children are 5, 8 and 11.

He will get paid a sum in the low six figures for a one-year contract, AP reports, and the contract will likely be renewed for several years. Not bad for making a silly voice.

Gottfried was fired after making jokes on Twitter about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Aflac might have given him a pass if he had been talking about another country, but the company gets 75% of its revenue from Japan. Gottfried later apologized, but Aflac was ready to move on.

Aflac and its advertising agency culled the list of entries to three, and chief executive Dan Amos said McKeague was the obvious choice. "We thought he was the best by far," Amos said. "I can't explain to you why. It just was. Maybe it is part of the mystique of the Aflac duck."

Look for the first commercial with McKeague's voice later tonight during the NBC show appropriately titled "The Voice."
54Comments
Apr 26, 2011 5:32PM
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Joke2Watch...

 

Gilbert's freedom of speech was not infringed upon, he did not go to jail for saying what he did, there were no legal repercussions for what he said.

 

He was an employee of Aflac, Aflac didn't like what he said, so they fired him. This has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech. Go curse out your boss and try to claim it's freedom of speech, see how far that gets you. As long as you aren't aggressive or threatening (breaking separate laws while doing it) you won't go to jail, but you won't keep your job either.

 

You're complaining about the political correctness Nazi's and loosing freedoms in one sentence, and then saying that an employer shouldn't have the freedom to fire a publicly facing employee because they didn't like the way they represented the company  in a public forum.

 

It just sounds to me like you disagree with Aflac's decision, you're free to not give them any of your money.

Apr 26, 2011 7:07PM
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Aflac had every right to fire Mr. Gottfried.  Any company that gets 75% of its revenue from Japan is going to be careful about what its employees say about Japan.  That's just common business sense if you want to stay in business with Japanese companies. 
Apr 26, 2011 3:42PM
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Wow.. that was a costly joke for Gottfried.  Don't tell anyone

 

Apr 26, 2011 5:53PM
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Anyone who is a spokesperson for a company doesn't open their mouth and spout so called "jokes" about a disaster!
That is not a violation of free speech;you can say whatever you want as long as it is not libelous,but do not be surprised if you are fired.
What an idiot.

Apr 26, 2011 9:11PM
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I worked for the Japanese in California in the late 60s and early 70s. I have the utmost respect for them. They treated me much better than most American bosses do. They are efficient and build the best products in the world. WWII is long over. The wrong people got in power. It could (and has) happened here, too.  
Apr 26, 2011 2:53PM
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Are they counting the decimal places in that "low six-figures" salary? I sure hope so, otherwise I'm in the wrong line of work.

That's a heck of a lot of money to be paid for recording one word a dozen or so times a year.

Apr 26, 2011 3:07PM
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WHY A DUCK? WHY NOT A CHICKEN!

Poor Gilbert was AFF-licted....

Can't a computer generate a suitable substitute.... come on...........

Those who use the AFLAC services should look into this

useless expense........ but I'm not tryin' to cause A  FLACKKKKKKK!

Apr 26, 2011 4:44PM
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Pastisprolouge, before you make a comment  about how Japanese Americans were treated in WW2, you might want to check on the survival rate of American citizens in Jap concentration camps and just what their physical condition was like at the end of the war!

 

Most of the people who did that to americans have died and the current population should NOT be blamed for what happened then.  However, What happened between 1936 and 1945 is simply glossed over in their school text books.

Apr 26, 2011 2:31PM
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Let this be a lesson. Watch your words!
Apr 26, 2011 3:18PM
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now, if they just replace the Progressive lady....I'm just sayin'
Apr 26, 2011 3:21PM
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I don't know what kind of company HoosierNick is running, and I'd like to agree with him about companies staying away from social networking sites, but he needs to take into account the cultural impact of what took place. When 75% of your business comes from a group that one of your employees insulted more or less publicly, you just might feel the need to take some action to protect your bottom line.
Apr 26, 2011 8:13PM
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Yes, and don't YOU remember that we dropped a bomb on Hiroshima?!?  I'd say we're even, so why don't you drop your 70 year-old grudge?  It's over!

Apr 26, 2011 3:15PM
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Low six figures?

 

"Your insurance premiums are rising due to the level of consumer claims being made. It has nothing to do with corporate expenses"

Apr 26, 2011 4:45PM
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Low six figures?  That could be anything up to $499,000.00!  Good money for doing very little.  That seems to be the mindset in corporate America.  The real obscenity is the corporate CEO who gets $30M to $50M and does no more than the duck voiced guy.
Apr 26, 2011 3:37PM
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While AFLAC is not health insurance, it is insurance against not being able to pay your bills if, for instance, your in the middle of a cancer battle.  I don't work for them, but I have their cancer policy and, while I hope I never have to use it, I'm darn glad I do.
Apr 26, 2011 2:58PM
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I think that Gilbert and anyone else should not be so socially irresponsible. We are talking about human lives. Have some sense of human empathy for lost lives. Who cares about the WWII, that has nothing to do with humans dying because of natural disasters. How would Americans feel if it were our family members dying unexpectedly? What has this world come to really?
Apr 26, 2011 9:14PM
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One lost  a job. Another gained a Job. Enough said.
Apr 26, 2011 3:34PM
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Darn--I missed my chance at stardom, but maybe I could sing Opera on a J. G. Wentworth commercial.  I've done that in the shower for years.
Apr 26, 2011 11:34PM
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Congrats to a fellow Minnesotan. 
Apr 26, 2011 6:09PM
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Gottfried got what he deserved. He should have been more knowledgeable about AFLAC's business and ketp his jokes bottled up.  As for company spokepersons, the Nationwide guy is the most irritating.
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