If you live in the United States, you’re probably familiar with the Energizer Bunny. It’s usually seen beating a drum with the tagline, “It keeps going, and going, and going.” But there is another battery bunny, and it belongs to the battery company with the current largest market share, Duracell.
The difference is, you won’t see the Duracell Bunny in the US, or at least you’re not supposed to. This has led to a fight for who can ultimately use a bunny as their batteries’ mascot.
The Duracell Bunny was the first to show up in 1973, while the Energizer Bunny came about in 1989. Energizer got a trademark on its icon in the US after its introduction. Duracell then attempted to follow to get a trademark for its bunny, but it didn’t go through.
In 1992, Energizer and Duracell somehow came to an agreement where the Energizer Bunny would be used in the US while the Duracell Bunny would be used everywhere else in the world. But things heated up in the battery bunny world when the Duracell Bunny began to be seen on packaging for Duracell batteries in the US with increasing frequency in 2015.
Energizer responded to the appearance of the Duracell Bunny by filing a suit in federal court against the owner of Duracell, Procter & Gamble Co. The Duracell Bunny packages were said to be showing up in the U.S. after being imported from Europe where Duracell has a trademark on the bunny. Energizer claims that Duracell has control over what is imported and is seeking damages in the suit. It seems the bunnies will be fighting it out in court.
The two bunnies are distinctly different. The Energizer Bunny wears sunglasses, beats a drum, is a different shade of pink, and has a different body than the Duracell Bunny. The Duracell Bunny, on the other hand, is usually doing some other type of activity and isn’t a single bunny like the Energizer Bunny but is represented by many bunnies.
Some of the commercials have even been similar. The first video below is Duracell’s commercial in 1983 with their pink bunny, and the next video is Energizer’s take in 1989 with their mascot. The battery bunny fight is on.
Sources: The Guardian, Statista, Energizer, Advertising Age