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Aflac Continues to Put People First with 'Not Alone' Marketing Campaign

In Partnership with Atlanta's Fastest-Growing Advertising Agency, Insurer Helps Ease the Anxiety of Out-of-Pocket Medical Bills

COLUMBUS, Ga., April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, a leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites, today announced its new, people-centric "Not Alone" marketing campaign. Developed in partnership with Dagger, Aflac's new advertising agency of record, the campaign reflects the insurer's commitment to being there for consumers when help is needed most. The new campaign focuses on the wide range of emotions Americans experience when they are hit with unexpected health care costs, emphasizing that Aflac helps pay out-of-pocket expenses health insurance does not cover and giving consumers more control over what otherwise might be uncontrollable situations. 

The "Not Alone" campaign's first commercial launches between 8 and 11:30 p.m. EDT tonight on ABC and ESPN during the NFL Draft. Titled "Gratitude," it illustrates Americans' mounting anxiety as out-of-pocket costs balloon from small, manageable amounts to larger expenses they do not have the savings to cover. The commercial then cuts to scenes of excitement and relief as people receive benefits payments from Aflac. To complement the launch, ESPN will feature clips of top college football drafts on its Instagram story, along with Aflac branding and a "swipe up" invitation for viewers to watch the new spot. Outside of the NFL Draft, viewers can see the commercial across networks and streaming platforms such as NBC, Fox, Bravo and Hulu.

Link to "Gratitude" commercial here . 

A second commercial, debuting in June 2020, shows Americans from all walks of life sharing common concerns about unexpected medical bills, health-related travel expenses, and large bills from hospitals and treatment specialists. Their worries are quickly relieved as benefits payments are delivered by the Aflac Duck.

"The 'Not Alone' campaign combines logic and emotion in ways that bring people together, uniting them through shared experiences, thoughts and behaviors," said Valencia Mitchell, Aflac vice president of Brand Strategy, Insights and Advertising. "That is especially important today, as Americans adapt to new realities caused by COVID-19, which is a reminder that health events can occur with or without warning.

"The campaign emphasizes that consumers who are hit with out-of-pocket medical bills experience fear, panic and – if they do not have the funds on hand to cover health care costs – even embarrassment. Worse, they may feel alone because they do not realize people throughout the country share their emotions and experiences. Although this campaign was in development long before the current pandemic began, it accentuates our commitment to customers that they are not alone and we will navigate this 'new normal' together." 

The campaign comes as Aflac enters the second year of a five-year advertising and marketing plan. In 2019, the insurer launched the effort with "Aflac Isn't" messaging, which sought to eliminate misconceptions about its products and how they are used. As it embarks on its second-year goals, Aflac is working to increase consumer understanding of what "Aflac Is." Aflac and Dagger will team to deliver on- and off-air content that will live across multiple platforms, working with Spark Foundry on media placements. In addition to airing the new commercials with cable partners and on major television networks, Aflac will amplify the "Not Alone" message in custom Spotify and Pandora ads as well as via host reads throughout iHeartRadio's "Stuff You Should Know" podcast, online videos and social media.

"We are ecstatic to extend our relationship with Aflac, a company that has truly driven to adopt a modern media mentality and generate new ways to capture consumer attention. We're especially eager to help facilitate Aflac's offerings across broadcast platforms while continuing to leverage a historic piece of brand iconography in the Aflac Duck," said Mike Popowski, chief executive officer of Dagger.

Mitchell said Aflac is excited to have Dagger on board as its advertising agency of record, noting that the partnership is a natural progression based on Dagger's social media work for the company, as well as Dagger's creative, thoughtful approach to digital storytelling that resonates with the Aflac audience. "Dagger has been one of our strategic partners since 2016 and became our social agency of record in 2018," she said. "They have delivered for us with disruptive strategies, a strong understanding of Aflac's brand challenge and standout content. Extending the scope of Dagger's work to include television is an exciting evolution, and we're eager to see where they take us next."

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. For 14 consecutive years, Aflac Incorporated has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2020, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 19th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com or aflac.com/espanol.

About Dagger
Built in 2014, after the era of mobile and social proliferation, Dagger makes brands culturally relevant within today's fast-moving, consumer-driven marketplace. The agency believes that in order to prosper, brands must behave more like media companies: innovating new ways to capture attention by distributing valuable content across media. The agency demonstrates this ideology by producing its own media brand, @Butter.ATL, on Instagram. Butter has become Atlanta's definitive culture channel, and a sought-after stage for the city's cultural icons, since its launch in 2018. Equipped with in-house content production capabilities, Dagger offers its clients a full suite of offerings designed to bring brands to market with speed, these include: brand and content strategy, storytelling, campaign thinking, media connections and more. Clients include: Aflac, Intercontinental Hotels Group, the Coca-Cola Company, the American Cancer Society, and Boys and Girls Club of America. For more information, please visit our website at Dagger.Agency.

Media contact – Jon A. Sullivan, 706-763-4813 or jsullivan@aflac.com  

Analyst and investor contact – David A. Young, 706.596.3264, 800.235.2667 or dyoung@aflac.com 

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