MN Man Selected As New Voice of Aflac Duck

Dan McKeague-a sales manager for local radio stations KQRS and Love 105-was chosen from thousands of applicants and has already made his vocal debut on a new Aflac commercial.

A Hugo man was selected from a pool of more than 12,500 to be the new voice of the Aflac duck.

Dan McKeague, 36, will use his voice in both television and radio ads for Columbus, Georgia-based insurance giant Aflac, Inc., the company said Tuesday.

The father of three-who works as a sales manager for radio stations KQRS and Love 105 in Minneapolis-has experience doing voiceovers.

“I have long admired people who can act and make the most of their voice and have tried to emulate them,” McKeague said in a statement.

McKeague replaces comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who lost the Aflac gig in mid-March after tweeting a series of jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. (Aflac is reportedly the largest insurance provider in Japan in terms of individual insurance policies in force-and the country is Aflac's largest market.)

To find his replacement, casting agencies conducted live auditions in six major cities across the United States and accepted online submissions at Experts narrowed the 12,500 applicants to a group of 20 finalists, and then eight, before McKeague was chosen.

“We were tremendously impressed with the wealth of talent who applied for this job. Dan impressed us with his vocal range and acting ability,” Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a statement.

In April, Aflac told Advertising Age that the job's salary would be in the low six figures. McKeague has already made his vocal debut with a television commercial that launched Tuesday.

Since 2000, the Aflac duck has been featured in 52 television ads and numerous radio ads. According to the company, the Aflac duck has helped increase its brand recognition from about 10 percent to 93 percent during that period.

To watch a video showing McKeague's reaction to the news that he got the Aflac duck job, click here. To read an Advertising Age reporter's account of her own audition for the position, click here.