Ed. note — Originally ran on March 1, 2015. Then and still just a kid from Chicago.
Derrick Rose’s best commercials seem to come about when he’s hurt.
While #thereturn campaign was once merely an opportunistic series of ads working off Rose’s initial inspirational return from ACL injury, today the Facebook page created for it is still active, putting up current day memes and words of encouragement.
As #thereturn has pretty much become a running theme in Rose’s career, it makes sense for the emotional impact of Rose’s travails to bleed over into his other commercial pursuits, as it does here in his new Powerade ad, which premiered late this week and has been shown wide throughout the recent national NBA broadcasts this weekend.
Inspired by Tupac Shakur’s poem “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” we see a child at the beginning of the ad, leaving his home in Englewood, D-Rose’s native South Side neighborhood, and riding his bike through the Chicago streets until he reaches his way to the United Center, a neat way of encapsulating Rose’s life journey within a minute’s time.
Beautifully shot, with the cultural weight of Shakur’s voice and lyrics and the present gravitas of Rose trying to overcome another career adversity this ad makes itself the most effective of Rose’s career. Though his rank among the league’s best players remains contentious due to his health, D-Rose’s story allows him to continue to be an effective pitchman.
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