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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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Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society's most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it's a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.