) --


(AFL) - Get Aflac Incorporated Report

has chosen Daniel McKeague to replace comedian Gilbert Gottfried as the new voice of the insurance company's duck mascot.

McKeague, a 36-year-old sales manager at KQRS in Minneapolis, beat out 12,500 others in a contest to be the voice of the iconic duck.

The insurance company launched the search for the new voice of its duck last month after

firing Gottfried

for making a number of distasteful jokes about the devastation in Japan.

"Japan is really advanced," Gottfried tweeted, "They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."

The company quickly cut ties with him following a string of similar comments. Gottfried was the voice Aflac's duck in the U.S. for 11 years.

Aflac held online and live auditions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Texas, and Atlanta over the course of the past few weeks.

Candidates were judged on their ability to "communicate an entire vocabulary in one word, Aflac, and how their voice can help the Aflac Duck sound informative, frustrated, happy, hurt, or angry, including grunts, groans, and mutterings, but no words other than Aflac," the company explained in a statement.

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Aflac posted a YouTube video featuring CEO Dan Amos welcoming Dan McKeague to the company.

The first ad featuring McKeague's voice will air on Tuesday night during


new talent show "The Voice."

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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