It keeps going and going and going ...
Energizer Bunny ad slogan
The Energizer Bunny actually owes his creation to Energizer's long-time competitor Duracell.
Around 1989, Duracell began airing an ad in Europe touting its long-lasting batteries: three robotic, battery-powered drum-playing bunnies are drumming away, but two of them gradually grind to a halt, leaving only the Duracell standing. The commercial was effective, but fairly mundane, especially in the era of in-your-face advertising and hype that was the late 1980s.
In response, Eveready, makers of the Energizer battery, trademarked the pink bunny concept in the United States and commissioned an effects workshop to build "the coolest drum-playing bunny ever." The Energizer Bunny campaign began with an ad showing the "creation" of their bunny that would compete with the Duracell. Unfortunately it was too powerful - once turned on, the Bunny marched itself out the door, over the hill, and into advertising history.
20 years later, the Energizer Bunny is indeed "still going", the subject of over 100 commercials, most of which featured advertisements for fake companies being interrupted by the seemingly never-ending Energizer Bunny. He's played opposite Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West, Wile E. Coyote, and Ted Nugent.
He's not without his critics. As a one-trick pony of relentlessness coupled with the fairly simple musical act (can't he master a backbeat?), he's often been considered annoying, uninspired, and repetitive (though the last one might be considered a virtue by his corporate masters.) He was famously smashed with a baseball bat by David Letterman during one of his late night show episodes, and he is often pointed to as an example of the mindless culture of television advertising. He also proved to be fairly humorless when business was at stake, as Eveready won a lawsuit against the Coors brewing company for using their Energizer Bunny image without permission in their own parody commercials.
Despite his shortcomings, the pink rodent has become a part of our cultural heritage. The Energizer Bunny was rightfully recognized as one of top 10 advertising icons of the century and continues to pound away as the official sponsor of Energizer batteries (though he has seen a reduced role in their television advertising as of late.) He's been a balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, a guest of Saturday Night Live, and perhaps most importantly, been parodied on The Simpsons (he was the star of his own Christmas special. Two for the price of one!) And the term "Energizer bunny" is used in everyday parlance for someone or something with endless longevity.
The Energizer Bunny was found dead today of sexual over-stimulation. Apparently someone put his battery in backwards and he kept coming and coming and coming ...
As seen on teh Interwebs, original source unknown