AFLAC duck heads to Japan

(Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 2003)

In its first commercials specifically designed for the island nation, Georgia-based AFLAC has ditched comedian Gilbert Gottfried’s familiar voicing of the AFLAC duck in its Japanese commercials in favor of an unnamed Japanese actor whose vocals are a little less — shall we say — strident.

“The Japanese culture does not like to be yelled at,” said AFLAC spokeswoman Laura Kane.

The two new commercials feature popular actors Akido Yada and Yanagiba trying to remember the name of the company that offers such great supplemental insurance. The duck, as is customary, quacks “AFLAC!”

What is a little different is that the actors interact with the duck. In American spots, actors can’t see the duck but sometimes hear him.


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