An Analysis Of The Energizer Bunny Commercial Sequence

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, and the ad company did not know why, until they
realized that the public was not looking for Energizer batteries,
but "the bunny batteries." It was at this time that the ad
campaign persuaded the company to put the bunny on the packaging.
It worked. People bought the batteries simply because of one
thought that ran through their collective head: "That @%!#$ bunny
won\'t ever stop, so I\'ll buy batteries that won\'t ever stop! I
need batteries that will last as long as possible!" Furthermore,
the ads were the first ads in a long time that actually made us
sit up and take notice. Most couch potatoes sit through
commercials subconsciously, not even aware that they exist in the
first place. The Energizer ads put a