Duracell bunny, Energizer man killed off in ads by upstart battery

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MELBOURNE--Battery manufacturers Duracell and Eveready are keeping tightlipped about a controversial new ad campaign launched by rival Grandcell Rechargeable Alkaline.

The national transit campaign, created by Melbourne ad agency The Edge, features two ads aimed at young battery consumers which discreetly poke fun at Duracell's pink bunny and Eveready's Energizer Man.

One ad shows a dead pink rabbit, remarkably similar to the Duracell Bunny, lying under a sheet on an autopsy table.

The other ad features a crime scene with a body outline drawn on a pavement; the outline is identical in shape to Eveready's Energizer Man.

Both ads carry the same tagline: "Lives up to 25 times longer than single-use batteries".

Neither Duracell nor Eveready were prepared to comment on the campaign. Grandcell batteries are manufactured by Malaysia-based Grand Battery Technologies (GBT) and were launched into the $300 million Australian battery market in November.

"It's enormously important for us to have cut through advertising because we are a new brand on the market," says GBT Australia Managing Director John Wright. "We've already had queries from our competitors in a legal sense about our marketing. We've heard nothing from them about our latest campaign. We make comparisons with leading brands in our advertising because we're confident we can outperform those brands."

The transit campaign is the second phase of Grandcell's $2.2 million launch campaign into Australia.

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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