If you’re like me, you loathe those ads that appear before almost every video now on YouTube, and fixate on the five second countdown until the click “Skip Ad” button appears to get rid of whatever some brand is selling. Ads, for the most part, are utterly, though mercifully forgettable.
Duracell’s latest ad featuring Derrick Coleman, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, is very different. The ad brand’s message is to “Trust the Power Within” — a message for anyone with any sense of adventure or aiming to achieve anything outside the parameters of contemporary culture. Coleman is deaf, and has been since a small child. But whether you’re interested in (American) football or not, his story, which he tells during the ad, may well resonate with you. This is what Coleman says:
They told me it couldn’t be done, that I was the lost cause. I was picked on, and picked last. Coaches didn’t know how to talk to me. They gave up on me. Told me I should just quit.
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. And now I’m here, with a lot of fans in the NFL cheering me on. And I can hear them all.
Coleman’s story of overcoming both a serious physical disadvantage and the negativity of other people, from student bullies to obnoxious coaches, is extraordinary. But it reminds us also of our own battles with adversity, and how we can overcome them. Coleman’s story, and the ad he has made with Duracell, is truly touching and inspiring.