Admit it, the Aflac Duck campaign was a fun little diversion. Gilbert Gottfried blew it (hey, he’s an insult comic, it was bound to happen), and in a brilliant bit of PR, the company decided to throw the doors open in a nationwide search for the next voice of the Duck. And here he is: Dan McKeague, radio sales manager from Minneapolis.
From the CNBC Story:
McKeague beat out well-known celebrities like Jeff Foxworthy and Richard Lewis for the job which Gilbert Gottfried lost after making jokes about Japan post-quake. Gottfried had been the only voice the duck has known since being introduced 11 years ago, but Aflac gets most of its revenue from Japan, so Gottfried’s remarks turned out to be no joke. (Gottfried never did the voiceover work for Aflac’s Japanese ads.)
A nice bit of PR for the company that helps it recover from the damage done by Gottfried’s less than thoughtful remarks, a pretty cool opportunity, and a re-establishment of goodwill. A win win for everyone.
Well almost everyone. Not unlike the Ted Williams situation, I have seen members of the voiceover community/industry grousing about how someone who didn’t pay their dues or spend a ton of money on training and equipment, or maybe just wasn’t them, got a gig that perhaps they shouldn’t have. Specifically, one quote I heard was “Who invited this guy to the party?”
Who invited him to the party? The same people that invited you, me, and every other voice artist out there: THE CLIENT.
Now I am certain that this isn’t the majority of people out there. Most of us, I hope, have the perspective that this is a selection process that the only part of which you control is your performance. Most of us realize that your chances are slim in just about every audition process you have, unless it is targeted specifically for you. Most of us get the fact that there is another job around the corner that might be yours.
But for those who do not, here’s the rude awakening: you aren’t going to get everything you audition for. You aren’t going to get half of the things you audition for. You probably aren’t going to get one-quarter of the things you audition for. No one promised you a NatGeo documentary series, a national ad campaign, or a Pixar/Dreamworks film deal. Learn your craft, work your contacts, market yourself. Audition. And audition some more. And don’t obesess about the relative success of one-off situations like the Aflac campaign. You got into this because you wanted a career, not a job, right? Don’t lose that perspective: there is always another job.
Congratulations to Dan McKeague! That’s a sweet gig, and I hope it gives you much success. Everyone else? Let’s get back to work!