TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Duracell, the brand millions trust for power, is shining a spotlight on the issue of hearing impairment. With the launch of its new initiative and film, “Stay Connected,” Duracell wants to ensure that people who suffer from hearing loss stay connected with their loved ones and not miss out on key moments in life.
Hearing impairment is a national health issue affecting approximately three million Canadians, 80% of whom don’t seek treatment. For those who do get proper treatment and diagnosis, Duracell powers them to experience every moment and stay connected by offering longer-lasting hearing aid batteries. As part of its “Stay Connected” campaign, Duracell also looks to reach the vast majority of Canadians currently not receiving treatment, because untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also has far-reaching effects, touching not only those who can’t hear, but the loved ones who feel their family member is slowly disconnecting from them, and life, and missing out on key moments. To help people take the first step towards staying connected, Duracell will offer 10,000 free hearing screenings from May, 19th to June 26th, 2016.
“Duracell powers millions of people, every day with long lasting hearing aid batteries,” says Peter Gorzkowski, Director of Marketing and Commercial Operations at Duracell. “We play a critical role in helping people with hearing loss stay connected to their loved ones, and for the many who have not been treated, we’re offering a way for them to take that first step towards being connected and making sure they don’t miss out on key moments in life.”
Duracell’s “Stay Connected” film tells the story of a father who slowly starts to slip into isolation. During important moments like family dinners, he becomes disengaged due to his hearing impairment. Following a concerning event with his baby granddaughter and with encouragement from his family, he takes the first step in addressing his hearing health with a visit to an audiologist. There, he is fit for a hearing aid, and that device, powered by Duracell, immediately connects him back to the world.
Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden, who has experienced first-hand the impact that hearing loss can have on a family, is teaming up with Duracell to help bring more attention to the issue, and encourage people to get tested.
“I can really relate to having a loved-one suffering from hearing loss,” said Jann Arden. “The hearing aid my mom has been wearing for the last year and a half has made a huge difference in her life. We were pretty shocked when she was tested to find out that she had 70% hearing loss in both her ears. I know now how much she was missing out on, and can really see the difference in how she interacts with the people around her, which is why I am excited to help Duracell launch their new ‘Stay Connected’ initiative to ensure other people suffering from hearing loss are staying connected.”
“We didn’t want the hearing test itself to be the obstacle for anyone currently suffering and not being treated,” said Gorzkowski. “So we made it as simple as possible and are proud to be providing 10,000 free tests.” The tests are administered through the National Hearing Test, a quick and convenient over-the-phone hearing screening developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the only screening test that is scientifically validated, not-for-profit and for which the test results remain private to the user. The test helps determine if a more full-scale assessment by an audiologist is needed. People can call 1-844-9-Duracell to take the free hearing test or visit Duracell.com/StayConnected to view the film and learn more about the “Stay Connected” initiative.
“Hearing loss is the second most prevalent health issue globally. The number of people with hearing loss is more than those living with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and diabetes combined. Beyond the feeling of isolation which can lead to depression, research has also found that people with mild hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia,” said Dr. Marshall Chasin, AuD. “These are some of the reasons why it is so important for people to take the initial step of getting their hearing tested.”
Duracell is partnering with Rogers Media to launch “Stay Connected” by having Canadians experience one type of hearing loss through an execution on live TV that briefly reduces the volume in real time. This will demonstrate the impact of hearing loss and help viewers understand the important contribution of audio in their daily lives. Across Rogers Media's suite of television assets, viewers will see a volume-bar decreasing as the audio reduces for 5 seconds. Before they reach for their remotes, an on-screen message will ask, “Are you having trouble hearing?” transitioning directly into Duracell’s hearing loss messaging.
Started in the 1920’s, the Duracell brand and company was recently acquired by the Berkshire Hathaway Company (NYSE-BRK) and has grown to be the leader in the single-use battery market in North America. Its iconic brand is known the world over. Our products serve as the heart of devices that keep people connected, protect their families, entertain them, and simplify their increasingly mobile lifestyles. Our recharging technology allows consumers to live life without limits. Berkshire Hathaway is a $210B holding company owning subsidiaries that engage in diverse business activities. Visit www.duracell.com for more information; follow us on Twitter.com/Duracell and like us on Facebook.com/Duracell.