Who will be the new voice of Aflac duck?

ATLANTA - The job market is starting to pick up. In fact, one job that's become available involves selling insurance. The main qualification? The ability to sound like a duck.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports the national audition to find the voice of Aflac's next "spokes-duck" was "American Idol" meets "Animal Planet."

"I have webbed feet, I walk like a duck, and I had a dream I was a duck this morning," said auditioner Chrystal Webb.

Aflac: Who will replace Gilbert Gottfried?

The Aflac duck is the star of the company's $100 million advertising campaign.

"Why not? Why not me," asked gravelly-voiced New Yorker Bradley Ellison. "I think I'm good. I think I'm one of the final 10."

(At left, watch a 2007 interview with Aflac's CEO)

Aflac duck voice job description

After 11 years, last month the Aflac duck lost the only voice it ever had - shock comedian Gilbert Gottfried.

Gottfried offended Aflac with jokes about Japanese tsunami victims. The insurance giant does 75 percent of its business in Japan, so CEO Dan Amos fired him.

Aflac axes Gottfried for tasteless Tweets

'The first thing is panic," said Amos. "A crisis has just occurred. What is going to be our next step?"

First things first - find a new duck voice. It's not exactly what Aflac executives learned in business school. What's considered "star quality" in a duck's voice? "I wish I had the answer to that," Amos said.

More than 11,000 people auditioned online. Hundreds more auditioned in person - doing their duck voice in a variety of moods.

Laugh if you want. But for Aflac, getting it right is no joke. By month's end, the company will pick a new voice. The job pays low six figures, just to say one word well.

(Watch people audition for the Aflac duck voice, below.)
  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.

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