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Advertising / Energizer Bunny

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The Energizer Bunny (E.B. for short) is the creation of battery company Energizer, with advertising agency DDB Needham and special effects company All Effects (best known for their work on Short Circuit, The Blob (1988) and infamously, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III). Originally intended as a one off commercial in late 1988 against market rival Duracell, the commercial proved popular enough to eventually become its own campaign, replacing the one they had with Australian Mark "Jacko" Jackson. Over time, the Bunny would go on to encounter not only other products, but various celebrities and fictional characters of all kinds, usually hired by the megalomaniacs of fictional rival Supervolt.

While incredibly popular during the 1990s, the campaign would see a brief halt by the year 2000. Only to return in 2003, this time focusing more on people who challenged the odds (like postmen and mothers) before branching off into all sorts of territory, such as being chased by killer drones and reviving dinosaurs in a kid's garage. But was retired again in the first half of The New '10s.


In 2016, Camp+King would become Energizer's new advertising agents and together with The Mill, would put a new spin on the aging mascot, making him more expressive and moving him over to full CGI, though with the original animatronic inspiration still intact.

Due to Duracell still holding the copyright to the concept of a pink bunny in most foreign countries, the bunny is instead replaced with an anthropomorphic battery by the name of Mr. NRG, with some commercials originally featuring the bunny remade with him instead.


Tropes revolving around this particular campaign include:

  • The '80s: Introduced at the tail end of the decade.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Always has his sunglasses and flip-flops. Occasionally will acquire something else to wear alongside, like a scarf for holiday commercials or a gas mask for an aerosol commercial.
  • Alien Abduction: Becomes subject to one after helping two aliens jumpstart their ship.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: As part of his "inspiration", the Bunny bangs to the beat of a bass drum that hangs off his chest. Some of the more recent ads will occasionally depict him either without the drum or simply not using it.
  • Amusing Injuries: Wile E.'s attempts always end this way, just like when trying to catch the Road Runner.
    • Po also receives these trying to stop the bunny from being pulverized by Shifu's obstacle course.
  • Art Shift: Started off as an animatronic puppet before switching to CGI in later years.
    • One commercial features a hand-drawn version of the spokesrabbit.
    • One of the King Kong commercials is done in Black and White like the original movie, with Kong himself being presented this way in the first part, otherwise filmed in color.
    • The commercials featuring Wile E. Coyote and Boris and Natasha render the respective villains in the animation style of their source series.
  • As Himself: Ted Nugent sings for Mi Cuca Racha Mexican restaurants.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The subject of one commercial— An explorer finds a genie, and wishes for three things (Wealth, women and long life), this being an Energizer commercial, the explorer is turned into the bunny with that last one.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: The Bunny crosses into it, then back out the other side in one ad.
  • Bland-Name Product: Several during the original campaign, including Ligament (muscle cream), Chug-A-Cherry (soda), Darnitol (headache medication) and most notably, Supervolt (their jab at Duracell)
  • The Cameo: Of all places, in a behind the scenes documentary for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the ILM model shop. Just barely out of camera likely for trademark reasons due to the drum being in frame.
    • Would also make appearances in commercials for Star Tours when Energizer held the sponsorship.
  • Canis Latinicus: In the 30-second ad featuring Wile E. Coyote, Wile E. is introduced as "Pursiuis Rabbitus Energizus", and the battery that powers the Energizer Bunny is introduced as "Powerus Never Stopus".
  • Christmas Episode: A few ads feature a more festive flair, from the Bunny having to save Christmas because of Santa oversleeping (thanks to a Supervolt powered alarm clock), to having to deal with his Obnoxious In-Laws.
  • Circling Vultures: Encounters these when wandering through a desert. Naturally, the vultures drop tired from the sky trying to wait for him to stop.
  • Commercial Switcheroo: The one that popularized the concept for decades to come.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: One ad features two construction workers on their lunch break sitting on a skyscraper, talking about Vintage Farms Deli Loaf, the fictional product being advertised. As the Bunny marches across the skyscraper, he falls off it, but lands on a steel girder being lifted by a crane, much to the bewilderment of the two workers.
  • Continuity Snarl: Has two completely different origins depending on the market:
    • The ones Americans would remember is him leaving off the set off his own commercial, only to invade others from there on out, with no real backstory as the commercial was a reworking of the original one off.
    • For the French-Canadian market, the origin is similar yet different at the same time. This time, the bunny is being demonstrated by a man advertising the battery, only to go amok during filming before escaping the set.
  • Crossover: The Supervolt campaign is full of this, from Wile E. Coyote trying to chase him down, to King Kong getting tricked into thinking his battery tastes like a banana. Perhaps the most (in)famous is Darth Vader trying to kill him with a lightsaber, only for that to fail once the batteries die.
    • A couple later commercials feature the bunny traversing across the The Poison Apple and Shifu's dojo, complete with characters appearing from those films trying to stop him.
    • A commercial for Canadian Tire has the bunny interact with a miniature version of their mascot Scrooge.
  • Cool Shades: His trademark.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The commercial parodying The Lone Ranger and the second part of the two-part commercial featuring King Kong are both done in black and white.
  • Elvis Lives: An entire commercial focuses on this. Only for the camera on the guy who spotted him to go out due to it being powered by Supervolt batteries.
  • Epic Fail: Supervolt's attempt to come up with their own mascot, the Supervolt Weasel. strumming its guitar only once before shorting out and collapsing face first on the conference table.
  • The Faceless: His eyes are never shown to the camera due to his sunglasses (or in one case, a mask). Poked fun at in this commercial where the Bunny takes them off to reveal another pair underneath.
  • Fan Disservice: A commercial "advertising", featuring a man shopping for underwear in his tighties. Another pair of underwear also winds up on the bunny's ears at the end as he marches across the homepage.
  • Fictional Video Game: One ad has a fictional video game called Beauty And The Beast: The Ultimate Adventure, wherein a princess is being chased by a dragon through Mario-like environments, until the Bunny appears through one of the doors and shrinks the dragon with one of his drumsticks.
    • Takes part in a football video game in a more recent commercial.
  • Flea Episode: A mechanical version tries to bite the bunny, but its Supervolt battery dies before it can. The Bunny later passes by a flea-infested dog at the end of the commercial.
  • Funny X-Ray: The Bunny traverses through one such machine in the Ligamint commercial, exposing a realistic-looking skeleton underneath his skin. The effect itself is also similar to the one seen in Total Recall (1990).
  • The Grand Hunt: Engages in one, and comes out the victor when the dogs get tired from trying to hunt him.
  • The Grim Reaper: Shows up in one commercial to try and take the bunny while the latter's hosting a party at his house. This being a bunny who's whole gimmick is to promote long-lasting batteries, it ends with the Reaper just giving up.
  • Heli-Critter: A 2016 ad has the Bunny using his ears as a pair of propeller blades to slowly descend as he jumps off a building.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: The Bunny wears one of these in one Christmas commercial.
  • Key Under the Doormat: When Dracula gets locked out of his castle chasing the Bunny, he has the key to his castle under his "Velcome" mat. Unfortunately for him, the morning sun rises and vanquishes him before he has the chance to use it.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Wicked Witch of the West tries to do this to the bunny in one commercial...
  • Kill It with Water: ...Only to be done in through a sprinkler system in the halls of Oz's castle.
  • "King Kong" Climb: The second part of the two-part commercial featuring King Kong has the titular ape climbing the Empire State Building in pursuit of the Bunny. Just as he's about to grab the Bunny, a Fay Wray Expy slams a window on his foot, causing him to fall.
  • Lie Detector: A series of ads feature (fictional) employees of the company hooked up to these. Failure to answer the questions right would get the bunny either dunked into a piranha tank, dropped into a woodchipper, or blown up by a laser. Thankfully, he survives these fates.
  • Long Runner: 30 years and still going.
  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: One ad has a man hawk GrowZan, a fictional hair tonic that's way too effective: it causes hair to sprout not just on his head, but also on his back when the excess spills and even on the concrete pool surface when the Bunny knocks the bottle over.
  • New and Improved: The bunny's old battery is swapped out for for a different one promoting the brand's "Advanced Formula". The recent CGI ones also have the bunny swap out the traditional D-Cell for a pair of AA-sized lithiums to promote those instead.
  • Off-Model: No one can decide on whether the bunny animatronic's battery is located on his right thigh or between his shoulders. The CGI ads from 2016 onward stick with the thigh.
    • The bunny's appearance also differs between the American produced commercials and Canadian produced ones. With some of the former also featuring the model (or a facsimile thereof) of the latter's.
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: One ad features Wile E. Coyote painting a tunnel on a wall to try to catch the Bunny. Just like the Road Runner, the Bunny goes through the tunnel, but Wile E. slams into the wall when he tries to chase after him.
  • Parody Commercial: What the bunny started off as before invading other ones. Including parody commercials featuring real life products like Pepsi and Purina Cat Chow.
  • Punny Name: A lot of the fictional products in the commercials the Bunny interrupts have punny names, such as Sitagin hemmorhoid ointment, Ligamint back medicine, and Darnitol headache medicine with Easamigraine.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: A trailer for a fictional movie called Dance With Your Feet has the Bunny show up at the end. It was reportedly shown in real movie theaters at the time as part of Energizer's ad campaign.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: From 1993 to 1995, the fictional Supervolt battery company would hire several famous villains (Darth Vader, King Kong, Count Dracula, etc.) to destroy the Bunny, with either the batteries in their weapons running out of power, or other circumstances allowing the Bunny's escape. A few of these commercials even had Wile E. Coyote himself as one of the Bunny's assassins.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect:
    • During the "villains" ad campaign, two of the worlds the Energizer Bunny (who at the time was a live-action robotic model) wandered into were the animated worlds of Looney Tunes and Rocky and Bullwinkle. In these commercials, the Bunny faced off against Wile E. Coyote and Boris and Natasha, respectively.
    • Another commercial featured a live-action animator drawing cartoon rabbits, including the Energizer Bunny, which came to life, until he erased them out of disapproval (with the obvious exception of the Energizer Bunny, as the battery in his mechanical eraser ran out at the time). Like the other two rabbits, the Energizer Bunny himself was animated for this commercial.
  • Rule of Three: One commercial has a live-action animator drawing three cartoon rabbits that come to life; an overly-cutesy baby rabbit, a goofy-looking clumsy rabbit that trips over his own ears, and the Energizer Bunny himself. The animator doesn't like any of the three rabbits, and while the first two get erased by a mechanical eraser, the Energizer Bunny doesn't, as the Supervolt battery in the mechanical eraser runs out of power at that point.
  • Saving Christmas: In a 1995 holiday ad, when none of the trees have any presents under them, the Energizer Bunny travels to the North Pole to wake up Santa with his loud drumming so he can deliver the presents, since Santa’s alarm clock is powered by the ever-unreliable Supervolt battery.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The Supervolt brand is depicted as this. Even its mascot, a guitar-playing weasel, is an obviously cheap knockoff of the bunny.
  • Show Within a Show: The bunny interrupts commercials for the TV series H.I.P.S., a documentary for "The Adventure Channel", and the movie Dance With Your Feet. He also traverses through the intro of ABC's Wide World of Sports at one point.
  • Shout-Out: One ad is a tribute to The Lone Ranger, complete with the bunny wearing the Ranger's signature mask.
  • Side-by-Side Demonstration: The first commercial parodies this, with a 10-pin setup of snare drum-strumming bunnies winding down until the one in front remains. Only for the Energizer Bunny to barge in and one-up the other bunny.
  • Smelly Feet Gag: One ad features a lady using a fictional air freshener called Airdale to eliminate the odors in her house. When she gets to her husband's smelly feet, the Bunny is revealed to be wearing a gas mask when he interrupts the commercial, much to the bewilderment of the husband.
  • Special Effects Evolution: Due in part to advancing technology, this was bound to occur. The puppet goes through many changes, including a shift in makers from All Effects to Industrial Light and Magic, and even becomes more expressive (well, as expressive as a glorified RC vehicle can be) over the years, with the most recent commercials being in full CG animation.
  • Take That!: The original commercial was a direct jab at Duracell, specifically their "Which toy outlasts the others" campaign. With particular umbrage at how the other company compared their batteries to other carbon zinc ones instead of alkaline with the claim of "never being invited to their playoffs". The Supervolt commercials downplay this aspect, but it's obvious who they're supposed to be attacking.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Despite being a battery-operated rabbit, both his official profile on the Energizer website and a 2017 ad show that the Bunny's favorite food is carrots.
  • Vampire Episode: One 1993 ad featured Count Dracula being hired by the Supervolt battery company to steal the Energizer Bunny's battery. Dracula chases the Bunny to the outside of his castle, but gets locked out as a result. Dracula attempts to get back into his castle, but the morning sun rises and vanquishes him.
  • Vampire Vords: In the ad featuring Dracula, Dracula is revealed to keep the key to his castle under his "Velcome" mat.
  • Van in Black: One commercial featured a Mad Scientist working for the Supervolt battery company using a van for "Ed's Diaper Service" as a cover for his laboratory. The scientist creates the Bombshell Bunny, a robotic female rabbit with a bomb planted inside her, to chase and blow up the Energizer Bunny, and tracks them both with his van. Thanks to the short life of the Supervolt battery the Bombshell Bunny runs on, his van ends up in ruins.
  • Virtual Reality: The bunny takes part in a VR football game in a recent ad.
  • The Voiceless: The bunny never speaks, usually preferring more physical means to emote. More evident in the newer commercials due to the above mentioned Special Effects Evolution.

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