Case Study: Aflac Turns a Heartwarming Story Into a Life-Saving Cause-Branding Campaign

Company: Aflac Agency: Fleishman-Hillard Timeframe: 2008-ongoing When news that Aflac employee Steve Karas’ bone marrow donation saved the life of a young boy living near New York reached the company’s corporate public relations team, the executives knew they had a great story on their hands. Upon further investigation, though, it became even more compelling: Not only did Karas, a Boston-based district manager, make the lifesaving donation to Matthew Welling, but the boy’s parents were also holders of an Aflac insurance policy, which they credited with supporting them financially during their son’s illness. If this wasn’t enough, there was one more coincidence to add to the list: Aflac had recently introduced a product that would help cover out-of-pocket fees for bone marrow registration. This trifecta presented the perfect opportunity for the communications team to enhance Aflac’s image as a brand that’s committed to those causes most important to its policyholders. With the Karas-Welling story as a human-interest hook, the executives just needed a springboard that would elevate the heartwarming story to a national stage.

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