2019 MedAdNews Awards Agency of the Year Finalist

What Aflac Is Not

You know Aflac. It’s the duck honking Aflac. But what exactly is Aflac for? This ad aims to clarify. Insight is that brand awareness has increased to 90%, but brand association is poor. In other words, people know Aflac and the duck, but they don’t know what Aflac is actually for. By showing what Aflac is not for, the CTA helps clearly show what Aflac is for (covering medical bills and expenses not covered by other insurance).

Burger King – Clown Free Birthday

In addition to leaning in to their “flame-broiled” positioning by setting literally everything on fire (eg, billboards, their own restaurants), Burger King is leaning in to their Challenger position quite strongly and trolling McDonald’s in an epic fashion. This series shows children crying while being held by clowns. In addition to the recent “anti-Happy Meal” campaign, these are great examples of Challenger-competitive type tactical pull through.

Swann Insurance – Inconvenience Stores

Australian motorcycle insurance that wanted to stand out from its commoditized competition by setting up a chain of convenience stores in the most inconvenient places at the end of the best motorcycle rides in the country. Really rich understanding of the target customer insight to help stand out from the pack. Caution: some Australian biker profanity.

Sargento – World’s Slowest Pizza

 Sargento, a packaged cheese brand, is promoting its 18-month cheese aging by offering a free pizza that will be delivered when the cheese is done aging. Really smart strategy to promote a long-term benefit and highlight their key differentiated core benefit of 18-month aging.

Celgene – Chemosaurus – How do you highlight that the standard of care (chemotherapy) is stone age technology and position your treatment (immuno-oncology) as the future? Celgene chose to have their ASCO booth feature a giant T-rex fossil made out of the word “chemotherapy”.


Here’s my favorite podcast from the past couple of weeks:

99% Invisible – “Froebel’s Gifts” – In general, I love this whole podcast series because it focuses on the unrecognized or unappreciated aspects of design that have a huge impact. This particular episode talks about the linkage between the invention of kindergarten and its impact on Cubist painting and mid-century modern architecture, which I found fascinating.


My favorite album from the past 2 weeks:

Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride – Hyperliterate indie rock combined with terrible album cover, excellent sound production and engineering, plus a music video that was directed by Jonah Hill and stars Jerry Seinfeld in restaurants in my old UWS neighborhood.

Written by Nick Rhodin

Managing Partner,
Executive Director of Strategic Planning

Nick is devoted to discovering and leveraging core customer insights to drive brand strategy development.

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