Friday, December 26, 2008

Battery Bunny

As long as I can remember the Energizer Bunny has kept going and going and .... So it seemed weird when I discovered that there is an Duracell Bunny. And that the Duracell Bunny came first. The Energizer commercials, where origionally produced as a parody of ads for Duracell.

In the Duracell ads, a set of battery-powered instrument-playing toy pink rabbits gradually slow to a halt until only the toy powered by a copper-top battery remains active. In Energizer's parody, the Energizer Bunny then enters the screen beating a huge bass drum and swinging a mallet over his head. The criticism was that Duracell compared their batteries with carbon batteries, and not similar alkaline batteries like Energizer.

A Duracell Bunny is any of several anthropomorphic pink rabbits powered by batteries, used to promote Duracell brand batteries. In commercial advertisements, the Duracell Bunny is actually only one of these rabbits, powered by a Duracell battery rather than rival batteries. The point of the advertisement is that the bunny powered by a Duracell battery can continue functioning for a longer amount of time before its battery runs down.

The advertisements usually feature the bunnies competing in some way, for example a game of football or a race. There are differences in appearance — the Energizer Bunny wears sunglasses, has larger ears, is a different shade of pink and has a different body shape. Also, while the Energizer Bunny is a single rabbit, the Duracell Bunnies are a species. The Energizer Bunny is always depicted with a drum, as the Duracell Bunny toys of which it is a parody had drums. The actual Duracell Bunny advertising campaign has moved beyond this, and Duracell Bunnies are usually depicted as doing something other than beating a drum.

The Duracell Bunny does not appear in North America, due to Energizer jumping the trademark claim for the marketing use of a "battery bunny" in the United States and Canada.
The Duracell Bunny was originally trademarked for use in the US and other countries. Duracell failed to renew its US trademark of the bunny and as a result lost it. Energizer, seeing an opportunity, trademarked a new bunny for its use.