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Press Release Story

Cannes' Speaker is a Duck ... and a Robot Animatronic Aflac Duck to share spotlight with famous directors, producers and creatives

COLUMBUS, Ga., June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than just humans will grace the speaker dais of the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in France this year. Aflac today announced that My Special Aflac Duck®, an innovative robotic version of the well-known U.S. insurance company's famous mascot duck that helps children cope with cancer, has a spot in the health care track. My Special Aflac Duck was developed with the input of children, their families, medical professionals and child life specialists. Featuring naturalistic movements and joyful play, My Special Aflac Duck helps soothe and distract children while receiving cancer treatments. It was unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, where it won the prestigious Tech for a Better World Innovation Award. It later was named the People's Choice Award winner at SXSW, and TIME Magazine named it one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2018. Aflac is aiming to distribute 10,000 ducks this year, free of charge, to children with cancer via children's hospitals throughout the U.S.

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, taking place June 17-21 in Cannes, France, is a global celebration of creative communications where brands, agencies and media companies convene to learn about the latest trends in marketing. Every festival features notable speakers from a variety of industries. This year, My Special Aflac Duck will share the bill with such creative luminaries as Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lorne Michaels, Arianna Huffington and Shonda Rhimes.

My Special Aflac Duck, dubbed the chief comfort officer, is booked for the Cannes panel "The Intersection of Purpose, Brand, Technology: Finding a Mascot's Purpose" on the "Healthcare and Insights" stage Tuesday, June 18, along with Aflac Senior Vice President, Chief ESG and Communications Officer Catherine Hernandez-Blades and the duck's inventor, Sproutel CEO Aaron Horowitz. Carol Cone ON PURPOSE Founder Carol Cone will moderate the discussion.

"I speak for Aaron, Carol and myself when I say that we delight in being upstaged by a social robot, who helps children with cancer, and we welcome the opportunity," Hernandez-Blades said. "We expect the sophisticated My Special Aflac Duck to intrigue and touch the audience in unprecedented ways, while capturing their hearts."

My Special Aflac Duck has been entered in several categories for a Cannes Lion, including Technology, Health and Wellness, Creative Strategy and Public Relations. Health care professionals who treat children with cancer and would like to register to order My Special Aflac Ducks can go to 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. To date, more than 4,300 ducks have been delivered to children in more than 200 facilities in 47 states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

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 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)

Aflac media contact: Kristen Fraser, 706.580.3813 or 

Aflac analyst and investor contact: David A. Young, 706.596.3264 or