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Aflac's quacking duck selected one of America's favorite ad icons.

The Aflac Duck was voted one of America's Favorite Ad Icons in a nationwide online poll. The poll results were announced Sept. 20, at the beginning of Advertising Week in New York City. The M&M Talking Candies took first place, the Aflac Duck second, Mr. Peanut third, The Pillsbury Doughboy fourth and Tony the Tiger came in fifth.

The popular duck competed against 25 other well-known brand icons, such as the Energizer Bunny, for a chance to cement its place in history in the first Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame during Advertising Week in New York City, that ran Sept. 20-24. Advertising Week is organized by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, a trade group.

Nationwide online voting for America's Favorite Ad Icons, as well as America's Favorite Ad Slogans, began July 26 and concluded Sept. 17.

According to Aflac Inc., the duck has done more for the life and disability insurer's brand recognition in less than five years than most advertising symbols have done for their brand over decades. Launched in January 2000, the national advertising campaign featuring the duck quacking, "AFLAAAAC," produced a significant increase in Aflac's name recognition--from 12% to more than 90%, according to Aflac.

At 4 years old, the Aflac Duck is the youngest contender nominated for the award.

"We think that the duck is a contemporary icon and that a lot of people can identify with it" said Mechell Clark, an Aflac spokeswoman, noting that the Aflac Duck's relatively new appearance on the national advertising landscape may work in Aflac's favor.

"After the debut of our campaign, our name recognition soared," said Clark, who noted that through a link, visitors to Aflac's Web site also cast their votes.

The top five icons voted onto the Walk of Fame will be honored with an image-enshrined plaque installed at the corner of 50th Street and Madison Avenue. Winners were unveiled at the Walk of Fame dedication ceremony on Sept. 20.

Aflac Duck's Competition

Five icons will be immortalized in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of me as America's Favorite Ad Icons. Some of the candidates included:

Seatbelt Dummies

Mr. Clean

Tony the Tiger

Michelin Man

California Raisins

Charlie the Tuna

Smokey Bear

Mr. Peanut

Kool-Aid Pitcher
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Title Annotation:Marketplace
Author:Lysiak, Fran Matso
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:372
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