Saturday, January 18, 2014

Truth in Advertising: 49ers Colin Kaepernick & Seahawks' Derrick Coleman

I'm almost scared to write this. I think there is truth in advertising. Two of the more popular ads right now feature two NFL Football players that will face off in tomorrow's NFC Championship game. One is Duracell's "Trust Your Power" wtih Seattle Seahawks' Derrcik Coleman and the other is Beats Dre X Headphones' "Hear What You Want" with Colin Kaepernick of the San Franciso Forty-Niners. With all due respect to the home team, today's posting will address the latter.
My dad is in love with Colin Kaepernick. I think I'm only half kidding. The young quarterback will play tomorrow in his second NFC Championship game in his second year in the NFL. Not bad. In his amorous craze, my dad wanted me to see an advertisement that features "the man." I watched it again and I thought, I think this paints a fairly accurate portrait of who he is. 

First, Kaepernick doesn't like talking to the media. Yahoo! reported that he averaged just 27 words per answer at media day. He's private, to the point that we only know what we perceive. Real or not, his distance has led fans and haters alike to guess what's he really like. In this ad, no one gets to him.
Second, he's guarded. This ad shows a dramatic depiction of when and why he may have reason to be. The crowd is angry, nearly hateful. They are launching obscenities and trash at him. At times, life may be no different—literally and metaphorically.

His own life provides plenty of sad and true examples. His birth father wanted nothing to do with him. His birth mother got in touch with him only when he was drafted. A phenomenal high school athlete in not one, but three sports—the big three: football, basketball and baseball, Colin had nominal scholarship offers from D-1 schools. Again and again he has had prove himself. I'm better than that. I can do this. I have what it takes. I am something. Tomorrow will be yet another test.
Kap has lived his whole life having to prove himself. #payoff
In light of it all however, Kap looks calm, cool and collected as the outside world is screaming negativity at him. The song that underscores the ad, is no longer "You Can Tell Everybody, This Is Your Song" but rather "You Can Tell Everybody: I Am The Man." This mantra is repeated over and over to a great beat. It helps him keep his focus. His teflon cocoon remains unbroken. He looks fit and focused. Women can appreciate his swagger, dudes too (nod to "Sideways"). The quarterback has to be "the man." And if his headphones help believe it—and to a large degree I think they do— so be it.

I also think Kaepernick hears what he wants to hear. My sense is that the list of people he listens to it short: his adoptive parents (his mother in particular), his coach and himself. That might not be a bad thing. But I also know that the words "obedience" means "to listen to." There are times I should have listened to wisdom figures in my life even when I didn't want to. My disobedience resulted in hurting others and myself. Although the "take-away" of this ad is a bit too strong for me: Listen to what you want—in this context, it's fitting and fair.  Scary that an ad could remind me of this? Maybe. But in this case the messenger is just as effective as the message. Well done.

I believe every lie that I ever told.
Paid for every heart that I ever stole.
I played my card and I didn't fodl
Well it ain't that hard when you got soul.

Somewhere I heard that life is a test.
I been through the worst but still I give my best
God made my mold different from the rest

Then he broke that mold so I know I'm blessed

Stand up now and face the sun
Won't hide my tail or turn and run
It's time to do what must be done
Be a king when kingdom comes.

And you can tell everybody.... Aloe Blacc

Game Day Posting: Derrick Coleman. The man listened in an entirely different way.

Photo CreditsAll are from the 49er Facebook Page
Youtube Video clip - love that song!

Aloe Blacc Lyrics

No comments:

Post a Comment