Duracell stresses 'humble' brand with Coleman video

Duracell is emphasizing the humble nature of its brand and creating an emotional connection with consumers through a video it created starring legally deaf Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman.

BETHEL, CT: Duracell is looking to create an emotional connection with consumers through a video featuring legally deaf Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman and the struggles he has overcome to make it to the NFL and the Super Bowl.

The online video, which debuted on Facebook on January 10, has received more than 11.5 million views on YouTube and Facebook and 1.4 billion impressions. Media outlets including Good Morning America, Fox Sports, ABC, the Associated Press, and Mashable have covered the video, said Duracell global communications director Win Sakdinan.

He said the Procter & Gamble brand asked its agency partners to come up with a campaign that “brings our relationship with the NFL to life.”

Sakdinan added that about 480 batteries are used during each NFL game to power devices including the referees' microphones, coaches' battery packs, and remote headsets used to review calls.

“We wanted to celebrate the humble nature of people in the NFL that you may not know who have powered through adversity to be in the most powerful game in the country,” said Sakdinan.

He said the story about Coleman, who has been deaf since he was three years old, overcoming obstacles to make it to the NFL and Super Bowl XLVIII was a perfect fit for the “humble nature of the brand.”

Citizen Relations is managing PR and social media for the campaign. Other agencies working on the initiative include Saatchi & Saatchi New York, which created the video and is handling digital marketing. Riber Sports Marketing Group is working on sports marketing, and Starcom Mediavest Group is managing media buying.

After launching the video on the Facebook pages of the Seahawks and Duracell, the brand posted it on YouTube and then did a significant communications push, said Sakdinan.

He credited Citizen Relations because it “led the whole dissemination of the message” for the campaign after the video quickly went viral and took on a life of its own.

The video depicts the struggles Coleman overcame as a young football player and his rise to make an NFL team despite his hearing impairment and the fact that he was not drafted out of college

Sakdinan added that Duracell is “exploring options” for launching the video on TV, expanding the effort during the Super Bowl, or using Coleman in additional spots going forward.

He explained that the brand knows an important factor is “keeping the fires lit for your campaign” because companies have a limited amount of time to make an impression.

The campaign got an organic boost last week when the father of a nine-year-old girl who is also hearing impaired tweeted a photo of the letter Coleman sent his daughter. She was inspired to write to the Seahawks player after she saw the Duracell video.

“We hope consumers understand that even though we're just a battery company, we do stand for something bigger and the bigger celebrations of people who have powered their life beyond limits,” said Sakdinan. 

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