NEW YORK: Aflac, the insurance company, last night took the Platinum SABRE for Best In Show at the 2018 North America SABRE Awards.

The SABRE Awards, delivered by The Holmes Report, are the world’s largest PR awards programme and recognise superior achievement in branding and reputation in six regions: North America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, South Asia and Africa. WARC subscribers can read the winning case studies here.

As well as winning the top award, Aflac ‘outducks’ a reputational deficit also picked up the Institutional Image Award for its work with FleishmanHillard, which sought to showcase its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Despite being a leader in CSR and volunteer work, consumers thought Aflac was lacking in its CSR profile. It created My special Aflac Duck, a smart toy to help comfort kids facing cancer, and positioned its executives as thought leaders to media at the same time as it developed CSR activities, earned media campaigns and social media posts to highlight the unveiling of the project.

Eight interviews and briefings with national outlets were secured, which yielded 794 earned stories and nearly two billion impressions helping Aflac meet its $1.5m donation promise to childhood cancer.

Four Diamond Awards were also presented. One went to Honda for Superior Achievement in Reputation Management for an online media campaign with APCO Worldwide which built its reputation in Washington, DC as a foreign-owned carmaker that contributes economically, is innovative and considers its environmental impact.

Turtle Wax won a Diamond SABRE for Superior Achievement in Brand-Building: the manufacturer of automotive products worked with Zeno Group to use PR to launch Go Moment, a campaign designed to overcome its outdated brand image and insert itself into modern car culture.

Columbia Gas of Ohio scooped a Diamond SABRE for Superior Achievement in Measurement and Evaluation. The Saving Matters campaign successfully increased participation in its energy efficiency programs and motivated behaviour change by creating meaningful connections with customers when saving money was top of mind.

The Diamond SABRE for Superior Achievement in Research and Planning went to Duff & Phelps, which re-established its credibility as a supplier of fairness opinions to business.

Sourced from The Holmes Report