COLUMBUS, Ga.–Following a month-long search that included celebrities, actors, professional voice over artists and individuals from the general public, Aflac today introduced 36-year-old Dan McKeague of Hugo, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, as the new voice of the Aflac Duck. The married father of three submitted his audition online and was informed that he had been selected after a review of more than 12,500 live and online auditions.

“I have long admired people who can act and make the most of their voice and have tried to emulate them,” McKeague said. “I want to thank Aflac for the incredible honor of voicing the greatest icon in corporate America and representing a company that not only leads its industry but also leaves a positive social imprint in every community it serves.”

McKeague, Sales Manager for radio stations KQRS and Love 105 in Minneapolis, has experience doing local voiceovers. He is also Vice President for the Board of Directors of the non-profit Children’s Safety Centers in St. Paul, which provides safe havens for children to hold supervised visits with non-custodial relatives. Dan will make his vocal debut immediately in Aflac’s latest commercial titled Pigeon, wherein the Aflac Duck represents insurance coverage that includes major medical and Aflac, while a pigeon represents coverage that includes only major medical coverage without the financial protection of Aflac. The new ad will be available this evening on the Aflac Duck’s Facebook page.

Casting agencies conducted live auditions in six major cities across the United States and accepted online submissions at quackaflac.com, seeking someone who could not only provide the voice of the Aflac Duck, but who could also represent the philanthropy and the ethical values embraced by Aflac’s employees and thousands of independent sales agents across the nation. Experts reviewed more than 12,500 entries before scaling the list to 20 finalists, each of whom was called back for a second audition. The 20 finalists were then further whittled down to a group of eight prior to McKeague’s selection.

“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. “He understands that he is making marketing history representing our company, our 72,000 independent sales agents and our well-earned reputation as a company that does business the right way.”

Since 2000, the Aflac Duck has appeared in 52 television ads and numerous radio ads, helping increase the company’s brand recognition from slightly more than 10 percent to an amazing 93 percent. The Aflac Duck is also a symbol for the company’s primary philanthropic cause, helping Aflac raise more than $62 million for the treatment and research of childhood cancer.