Why is the Aflac duck still around? A pretty good guess would be that the silly looking bird has worked at bringing in business.
But why has it worked? Another good guess is that a team of writers and visual arts people got together and came up with something from out of left field that turned out to be a stroke of genius.
It’s not hard to imagine how it happened. During a creative meeting, someone said, “Aflac.” Someone else said, “You sound like a duck.” Chances are that was it, for a while. The meeting continued, ideas flying, but nothing clicked. Everybody went out for a beer.
Then, in the middle of the night or maybe in the shower the next morning, one of those creatives heard (yes, actually heard), “Duck. Aflac.” He or she remembered the waddling ridiculousness of those white domesticated pond ducks in the park and thought, “Duck. Aflac. Perfect.”
This is how it happens. Lots of back and forth. Plenty of banter. A good many lousy ideas thrown out. Some pretty good ideas thrown in the hamper. Then, for reasons no one has satisfactorily explained, it all comes together.
The person who brings it all together can be a writer or a designer or an account executive or the janitor who overheard the creative meeting. Somehow, something hits home. Sure, it isn’t always this neat, but often, it is.
This is the essence of teamwork. It’s a creative process, whether it’s done on a basketball court or in a conference room or in a bar. It’s a mystery. Sometimes, it’s a miracle. Always, it’s a joy. Even if it didn’t really happen that way for Aflac.