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Press Release Story

My Special Aflac Duck Wins Big at SXSW Innovative Robotic Duck Takes Top Honors in the People's Choice and the Robotics and Hardware Categories at Premier Conference Celebrating the Convergence of the Interactive, Film and Music Industries

COLUMBUS, Ga., March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking home yet another major award for technology, innovation and corporate responsibility, Aflac today announced the My Special Aflac Duck, an innovative robotic duck that helps children cope with cancer, is the winner of this year's top Award at SXSW in the Robotics and Hardware category. The prestigious SXSW award is added to a growing list of awards, which includes Engaget's Best in Show Award at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show and Time Magazine's recognition as one of the 50 Best inventions for 2018.

My Special Aflac Duck, a comforting robot designed to help children cope with cancer, took top honors at the 2019 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards in the People's Choice category and in the Robotics and Hardware category. Aflac is giving a My Special Aflac Duck to all children over 3 years old in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with cancer, free of charge.

"My Special Aflac Duck is a perfect convergence of Aflac's commitments to innovation and to children and families facing childhood cancer," Aflac Senior Vice President, Chief ESG and Communications Officer Catherine Hernandez-Blades said. "Being selected by SXSW attendees for the People's Choice Award and by the judges for the Robotics and Hardware category are wonderful accolades and validation of our efforts to demonstrate how companies who do good in the community often do better in business. We take great pride in these acknowledgments, but the real reward is seeing the happy faces of the more than 2,700 children who have received this wonderful robot on their way to being cured."

Aflac collaborated with Sproutel, a research and development workshop, to create My Special Aflac Duck. With multiple patents pending, lifelike movement and emotions, and a Bluetooth-enabled app, this "smart" robotic companion uses interactive technology and joyful play to help children cope with cancer. In 2018, Aflac took its commitment to pediatric cancer to the next level, aiming to donate a duck to every child diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., ages three and above, free of charge via participating hospitals. Working with several partners, including Carol Cone On Purpose, Marina Maher Communications, KWI Communications, YAH and Nation of Artists, My Special Aflac Duck became an immediate success when unveiled at last year's Consumer Electronics Show. More than 128 hospitals in 43 states are currently registered to order My Special Aflac Ducks for their patients.

Healthcare professionals who treat children with cancer and would like to register to order My Special Aflac Ducks can go to AflacChildhoodCancer.org/MyDuck. All ducks are delivered to hospitals, completely free of charge and available to any child in the United States, age 3 and older diagnosed with cancer.

For more than 23 years, Aflac has been devoted to the childhood cancer cause through its ongoing Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign®. Its foundation, employees and independent agents licensed to sell Aflac products have come together to support treatment and research, which they hope will ultimately contribute to conquering pediatric cancers. Throughout its commitment, the company has donated $131 million toward pediatric cancer and to establish and support the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

About Aflac Incorporated
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year, and in 2019, Fortune included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 18th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

Aflac Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Aflac)

Media contacts:
Aflac – Jon Sullivan, 706.763.4813 or jsullivan@aflac.com 

Aflac analyst and investor contact:
David A. Young, 706.596.3264 or dyoung@aflac.com

SOURCE Aflac