Purpose 360

The podcast that makes business matter

More than a quack: the story behind Aflac’s big heart

You probably know the Aflac Duck, but do you know the company behind it? Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Aflac’s SVP, Chief ESG and Communications Officer, joined Purpose 360 to share how Aflac deftly manages reputation in a volatile world and bestowed a new social purpose on its beloved mascot.

As a cancer insurance pioneer, Aflac has a now 24-year, $131M commitment to childhood cancer. Two years ago (in partnership with Carol), the company evolved and deepened that commitment by creating My Special Aflac Duck, a social robot and comforting companion for children with cancer. That duck, designed through 18 months of child-centered research at a leading U.S. pediatric cancer center, is now in the arms of 4,000+ children in the U.S., is the recipient of nearly 20 awards, has 4 patents pending, and is soon set to debut in Japan.

Listen to hear Catherine’s insights on the My Special Aflac Duck journey, as well as:

  • Aflac’s shift from the “Four Ps” to the “Four Es” – environment, engagement, experience, and exchange
  • Why doing good is no longer enough to connect with stakeholders and attract the best talent
  • The key to keeping long-term cause commitments relevant, engaging, and impactful
     
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