The insurance company's duck robot may seem like an obvious success story, but required an appetite for risk and long-term commitment.
CANNES — At a time when the concept of brand purpose appears increasingly vogueish, Aflac provided a salutary reminder that brands can drive positive change during a Cannes Lions session that explored the insurance company's interactive duck robot.
The smart toy robot (My Special Aflac Duck) has so far helped more than 4,300 children battle through cancer, by providing emotional support and helping kids open up and communicate through such a troubling period.
It’s rare when a branded product can connect with a child deeply. But My Special Aflac Duck - modeled after Aflac's longtime mascot - is doing just that with hundreds of children who are battling cancer. And the smart toy is helping them through perhaps the most difficult time of their lives.
The interactive toy, which won the Best Use of Technology award at the 2019 Drum Marketing Awards USA, is also up for several Cannes Lions awards this year and won the ‘Tech for a Better World’ award at CES 2018, where it was introduced.
It was hard enough that Savi Abdallah-Sinha was only a 2-year-old when he began undergoing chemotherapy treatment to rid his body of leukemia.
What made his situation even more difficult, his parents say, was knowing that the little boy was so young he lacked the words to communicate the many varieties of acute pain he was experiencing. Each time a new drug was introduced or a round of treatment completed, the boy’s inner world remained largely mysterious to the adults caring for him.
CANNES, FRANCE—From advertising icon to pediatric cancer pal, the Aflac duck has transformed from a TV commercial attention-getter to a trusted friend for children with cancer. The plush Alfac duck robot, with naturalistic movements, comes to life with quacks and nuzzles, but it also helps kids communicate.
ORANGE, Calif., June 12, 2019 /3BL Media/ - Aflac, the leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites, delivered My Special Aflac Ducks to patients at CHOC Children's Hospital. My Special Aflac Duck, designed by Sproutel, is a social robot that uses medical play, lifelike movement, and emotions to engage and help comfort kids during cancer treatment.
Aflac and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals were recognized at the 17th annual Engage for Good conference with a Silver Halo Award for their partnership around My Special Aflac Duck®. The award highlighted Aflac for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and innovative approach to making an impact on pediatric cancer patients. Together, Aflac and CMN Hospitals have worked together to distribute over 4,200 My Special Aflac Ducks to pediatric cancer patients at more than 200 facilities across the country.
Aflac Chief ESG and Communications Officer Catherine Hernandez-Blades joined the Yahoo Finance team to discuss the My Special Aflac Duck® and how this companion comforts children battling cancer across the country.