The Original Energizer Bunny: Starting at $15,000

Own a piece of the fascinating battery spokesbunny saga, for a minimum of $15,000! "What fascinating battery spokesbunny saga?" you might ask. Well, have you ever heard of the Duracell bunny?

One if the six first-run Energizer bunnies is up for prestige auction in Dallas, which, to Americans, makes a lot of sense: the Energizer bunny is an advertising icon on par with the Brawny man, Joe Camel, or the Kool Aid dude; to own one of these indefatigable robotic bunnies would be to own a piece of history. But before there was an Energizer bunny, a little company called Duracell had been marketing batteries with fuzzy bunnies of its own. Seriously.

In fact, the Energizer bunny beat its first drum in 1989, which was years after the Duracell bunny—as much of a cultural touchstone in Europe as the Energizer bunny is here—was first used in marketing materials, with drums. From RabbitWorldView, a blog about bunnies:

The European TV commercial showed a bunch of mechanical bunnies playing various instruments who slowly wound down and stopped. The Duracell Bunny lasted the longest because it was powered by a carbon Duracell battery. So Eveready produced a TV commercial that showed the same scene but had the Energizer Bunny barge in banging on a big drum being powered by an alkaline Energizer battery and outlasting them all.

Duracell Bunny: OG.

The Energizer bunny was conceived in response to commercials like these, after which the company appropriated bunnies as spokesthings, filed for US trademarks and created the transatlantic battery marketing divide.

Make a reference to a British friend about the Energizer bunny, and he'll try to correct you. Tell him that you just dropped 15k on one, and he'll think you've gone completely insane. Auction opens in three days. [Technabob via Retrothing]