An Analysis of the Energizer Bunny Commercial Sequence

Topics: Advertising, Bass drum, Infomercial Pages: 5 (840 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Energizer batteries have been equated with long-lasting energy in

your Walkman or other battery-operated appliance. "That damned

Energizer bunny" is the cause; he's so aggravating. It seems like

that pink bunny rabbit is running across the television screen

every other second, it's so annoying. The advertising campaign has

been so effective that not only did the company (finally) surpass

Duracell in sales, but the advertising company was awarded an Obie

(the advertising equivalent of the "Oscar") as best commercial of

the year. This essay shall attempt to analyze the series of

"Energizer bunny" advertisements.

There is a current trend in modern television advertising for a

series of commercials for the same product. An excellent example

is the ad sequence for "Taster's Choice" coffee brand, where a man

and a woman share (cups of) coffee amid alluring looks and sexual

innuendos. But I digress. The Energizer camp decided to run a

series, but the ingenuity in the Energizer series is that in every

commercial in the series, not one begins or ends with suggestions

or hints that there was, or will be, another ad before or after


A brief explanation of the plots of these advertisements is

warranted. The first in the sequence shows two toy bunnies,

waddling back and forth across the television screen, and all

beating bass drums. The one not running on Energizer batteries

dies out, and the one on Energizer batteries continues. The next

ad showed the same thing, but with a different ending: the

Energizer bunny waddled off the television screen, out of camera

range, and towards the doors of the studio. The last camera shot

is that of the bunny, headed for the doors amid wires and lights

and such, and a voice over the intercom says, in an authoritarian

voice (probably the director of the commercial), "Stop the bunny."

The humor from this scene stems from the unexpectedness of the

bunny's actions; it has a life of its own. The voice of the

director adds to this because his words and tone of voice suggest

that he, too, was unaware of this happening. We don't know what

happened to the bunny at this point in time, until they show the

other ads.

The other ads can be grouped into two categories: commercials

which advertise other "fake" products until the bunny comes

barging in with that damned bass drum, and views of vast,

wide-open spaces (which sometimes include landmarks around the

world, like Notre Dame in France, an island in the Bermuda

Triangle, et cetera) with the sounds which naturally occur at

these sites, then having one's ears assailed with those @%!#$

drums! It is now that the viewer subconsciously realizes that yes,

the bunny has truly "escaped" from the jail called the television

studio, and is now free to roam the world and do as it pleases

(which is simply just to follow the beat of his own drummer [being

himself {this is getting WAY too parenthetical}]). A similar

correlation can be made from this thought and another scene

involving toys and freedom/incarceration: in the movie "Toys" with

Robin Williams (which I truly hated, sans the Magritte style it

used), a war is declared within the toy factory. To help Robin's

side towards freedom from the maze the other side created, toys of

the company became "accessorized", if you will, with various

military tools. Robin exclaims, "F.A.O. Schwartzkopf!"

However, a note must be made. Initially, the advertising campaign

did poorly,...
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