Duracell Wants Ad with Positive View of Seattle Fans in NFC Title Game

P&G's Derrick Coleman Spot Is Counterpoint to Beats Commercial Showing Obnoxious Seahawks Fans

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Having unintentionally inserted itself into the football rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, Procter & Gamble Co.'s Duracell now wants its new ad in Fox's broadcast of Sunday's game between the teams.

Duracell's new 60-second online video features legally deaf Seattle fullback Derrick Coleman, who uses the brand's batteries for a hearing aid in part so he can hear Seattle's notoriously loud fans. A longer-running Beats by Dre ad shows San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing the brand's headphones to drown out obnoxious Seattle fans.

The Beats ad, already heavily aired during the NFL playoffs, appears likely to be on Sunday's game, though spokespeople for the brand couldn't immediately be reached for comment. But while P&G never intended to produce a response to the Beats ad and hadn't noticed the connection until asked by Advertising Age, Duracell Marketing Director Jeff Jarrett said the company is now trying its best to get the ad into the game.

"We're exploring it, but we don't have it there yet," Mr. Jarrett said. "This was originally intended as an online-only spot, but given the great reaction we've seen from consumers, we're considering [the NFC championship game] and other things. As far as we know, the game is sold out, so it will be a last-minute thing if it happens." A Fox spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Overcoming obstacles
Duracell's ad, which had 2.3 million views on YouTube between Jan. 10 and early Jan. 14, is more likely to be loved in Seattle than San Francisco. But the brand doesn't really have a dog in this fight. The original ad in Duracell's "Trust Your Power" campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, featured the story of San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis. That 60-second ad, made for online video, also aired on an NBC Sunday Night Football game last year.

"We're always looking for great stories that are metaphors for the brand benefits of being long-lasting, persevering and overcoming obstacles," Mr. Jarrett said. Duracell had already identified Mr. Coleman, an undrafted free agent who overcame his hearing impairment to get a spot on the Seahawks, as someone to feature in one of the campaign's biographical ads.

"We loved this story so much we would have done it anyway," Mr. Jarrett said. "In terms of the timing, with the Seahawks winning, we determined this was the right time."

Saatchi handles digital advertising for Duracell, which also works with Acme Idea Co., Norwalk, Conn., as lead creative agency, Citizen Paine on PR and Riber Sports Marketing.

The Beats spot from R/GA has benefited from serendipity of its own. It broke in December less than a week after Seattle entered the Guinness Book of World Records for loudest crowd roar with 137.6 decibels during a Dec. 2 game against New Orleans at CenturyLink Field, where the NFC Championship Game will be held.

While the Beats ad doesn't show the Seahawks logo, the fans shown pelting Mr. Kaepernick's bus (yes, he seems to have his own in the ad) with garbage and epithets are clearly wearing the team's dark blue and neon "Action Green" colors.

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