By Joe Grobeck
March Madness has arrived. One of the most popular sporting events of the year also means lots of ads, especially ads related to athletics. In March of 2015, Powerade launched the commercial entitled “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” featuring Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, as well as a poem read by famous hip hop artist, Tupac Shakur.
The ad features a young boy riding through the streets of Chicago as Tupac recites the poem about how beauty can come from even the harshest of places. He reads “You see, you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals.”. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses. This is the concrete. These are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why. Ask me how.” The journey of the video is loosely based on Derrick Roses journey from the streets of Chicago to NBA MVP. The main tagline of the commercial is “We’re all a kid from somewhere.” It also inspired the hashtag “#powerthrough”.
The ad was received well by audiences and is still running, even during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The ad was created by the Wieden + Kennedy advertising agency and the commercial was directed by Jaron Albertin. It was a good form of paid media that came at a good time for both Derrick Rose and Powerade.