Jumping Into Oscar Buzz: Aflac for Affleck

Source: Aflac

Oscar season! One of the biggest media events of the year!

How can an insurance company with no connection to the film biz find a way to exploit the buzz?

It's all in a name.

The Aflac duck has been under the weather after injuring his beak working as an actor in commercials for the company. He currently can't work. Good thing he has insurance (GET IT??). The #getwellduck marketing campaign has been successful enough to convince over 30,000 people to send the duck get well cards.

No lie. 30,000 people. The duck's response?


Aflac has just notified me that during the duck's recuperation, he's been catching up on Oscar nominated films.

(Read More: 13 Actors Hit With The Oscar Curse.)

Guess which movie he likes best?



Aflac likes Affleck. The duck is a huge fan of the actor-director-writer-producer who just happens to have a similar sounding name.

"Gigli" aside, the duck is stuck on Ben big time. "Should 'Argo' lose," Aflac said in a statement, "he'll cry fowl, telling the Academy, 'Go duck yourself.'"

Well, that would certainly expand the duck's vocabulary beyond the single word we've heard him say up til now!

Ok, maybe this is a sort of lame ... duck ... marketing tie-in to Sunday nights' Oscars, but the plush duck doll with the gauze around its beak the company sent me is kind of cute.

(Read More: Oscar-Worthy Movies Entrepreneurs Should See.)

It's a different tactic than Geico has taken. Aflac's rival doesn't need to pretend to know an Oscar nominee. IT HIRED ONE ONCE for a commercial—Talia Shire, playing the caveman's therapist.

Aflac may be on to something, though. Affleck has been snubbed by the Oscars in the directing category, though he's won it everywhere else. Who else has been snubbed? What other companies could exploit controversy by glomming onto someone bearing a similar name?

How about Bigelow Teas for Kathryn Bigelow, director of "Zero Dark Thirty".

Mrs. Fields for Sally Field. Yes, the former Oscar winner has been nominated again, but she's not going to win. Have a cookie.

Meantime, Aflack said because of the duck's injury, he can't attend the Oscars on Sunday which will prevent him from—wait for it—taking a gander at his favorite director.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells