Duracell’s Derrick Coleman

Recently Duracell, the pioneer brand in the premium battery market, launched an advertisement utilizing the Seattle Seahawks’ fullback Derrick Coleman. Playing off the hype building for the 2014 Super Bowl, Duracell used a one minute spot to depict the life of the first legally deaf football player to play in the NFL. The advertisement has gone viral, with the most recent view count topping out around 8.3 million viewers. The advertisement is narrated by Derrick Coleman himself, creating a unique opportunity for the audience to place themselves in Coleman’s shoes and walk with him step by step throughout his adversity stricken sports career. Throughout the course of the commercial viewers see reenactments of Coleman beginning in elementary school, high school, college, and finally commencing as he walks out of the tunnel into the Seahawk stadium. The dialogue for the advertisement is brief but extraordinarily powerful.
The ad opens with Derrick’s voice and his mother cradling him as a baby, then progressing to scenes of him getting picked last during recess, and then moving into his struggles with hearing aids while trying to play football. The dialogue for this scene is “They told me it couldn’t be done, that I was a lost cause. Coaches didn’t know how to talk to me. They gave up on me, told me I should just quit.” Throughout the course of Coleman reading this dialogue, there are flashbacks of him struggling with his hearing aids in football games, as well as being picked last for football on the playground, and then to a flashback of him while playing for UCLA.
The scene then changes to a nervous Coleman pacing in his living room waiting to see if he will be picked in the draft. Upon finding out he was not selected, he walks out of his house and the dialogue continues again. “They didn’t call my name, told me it was over. But I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen.”
The scene changes for a final time, to Coleman working out with the Seahawks at training camp, and of him landing a huge hit on a fellow player. The camera changes angles and next shot you see him in the Seahawks jersey, walking out of the tunnel with the rest of the team, and the closing dialogue states “and now I’m here with a lot of fans in the NFL cheering me on, and I can hear them all.”
Duracell is absolutely brilliant for being able to find such a cool story to tie their battery brand into. However, what makes this so remarkable is the fact he has not really played a huge role in the Seahawks entrance into the 2014 Super Bowl. This season the 6 foot, 233 pound fullback has had 2 carries and 8 catches this season, however the effect he has had on young fans has more than made up for his meager statistics.
Recently a young fan wrote him a letter which encompasses everything we as a society love about children. From the misspelled words, to the rudimentary grammar, this letter definitely is among the top contenders for cutest fan letter to date. The young New Jersey native, has a special connection to Derrick Coleman due to them both having a hearing impairment. The young fan wrote: “Dear my insperation Derrick Coleman,I know how you feel. I also have hearing aids. Just try your best. I have faif in you Derrick good job on January 20th game. GO Seattle Seahawks! here are things we have in comen. I wear two hearing aids. I love sports. other things are I’m a identical twin and my twin wears one hearing aid too!”
Derrick Coleman is a prime example of what can happen when the right mix of persistence and determination couple to form a never back down mentality. I am very much looking forward to see what the future holds for this up and coming fullback and seeing what other obstacles he can tackle and hopefully records that he can break throughout his career in the NFL.


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