The Energizer Bunny–which was allegedly created by Dick Sittig at DDB Chicago around the year 1989*–could be coming back for another round.
Today a client contact tells AdAge that the account is going into review. (MEC New York handles media for Energizer, and its account won’t be affected by the review.)
TBWA\Chiat\Day has held the business for 20-something years, and its most recent work didn’t concern the bunny at all. But he’s still around, because he did the Ice Bucket Challenge last year!
A statement from Michelle Atkinson, who’s been chief consumer officer at the company for a year:
“We have greatly appreciated our relationship with TBWA/Chiat/Day. They have been a longstanding partner and helped catapult the Energizer Bunny into pop culture status. As our company has evolved over the last year, we have decided to reevaluate our agency partners to ensure we have the best fit to meet our current marketing needs. Therefore, we are putting our advertising business out for bid to a select number of agencies.”
TBWA will not participate in the review. Here’s a statement from the agency to Adweek’s David Gianatasio:
“As partners for more than 25 years, we have a great respect for the Energizer brand. Together, we helped to build one of the most recognized and beloved advertising icons of our time. As their business model has changed, so too have their brand objectives which are no longer aligned with those of our agency. We received the RFP and after careful consideration, have decided not to participate. We wish them all the best.”
So where will Energizer go next? The company’s most recent innovation was partially recycled batteries.
Maybe the brand could take the Trix approach and just hire a real rabbit to replace its cartoonish mascot. We hear McCann knows a few good bunnies.
Here’s AdAge’s take on the character’s origin story:
“The bunny was originally conceived by Omnicom Group sibling DDB overseas as part of a campaign that mocked a similar icon used by rival Duracell, now being spun off to Berkshire Hathaway by Procter & Gamble Co.”
So who’s right? Mr. Sittig?