Monthly Archives: May 2012
After doing a review on the first Energizier Rabbit commercial, I feel like doing another one which was one of the most memorable ones from my childhood. Which is none other than the one with King Kong making a guest appearance. Not just a re-image of King Kong or the King Kong from any other remakes or spin-offs. I’m talking about the original King Kong from 1933. The one that redefine monster attacking major cities for a century, the one who influence the original Godzilla film which influence the invention of Kaiju as a new genre of Japanese films. So without any further introduction, I present to you Energizer Rabbit meets King Kong, a commercial I only saw once 19 years ago!
The first commercial shows the headquarters of the Supervolt Battery company. Where we see a meeting being held by the employees of the company trying to find out how to obtain the Energizer battery located on the back of the rabbit. Which without its battery it’ll no longer by mobile and thus Supervolt will be the leading battery company and not Energizer. A clever plan as if Energizer doesn’t have an impressive mascot like the rabbit which can keep going and going, then everyone would be buying Duracell instead. The CEO who is played by Rip Torn(Agent Zed from MIB) tells his employees that something needs to get done about the rabbit’s on going mobility thanks to its own battery. And the only way for them to obtain that battery is by hiring someone big. One of the employees replies “big?” as the answer sounded a little off. Which after he says it he then see who the CEO refer to as “big” which is none other than King Kong! The CEO gives King Kong a poster board which is a picture of a battery, arrow, and banana. King takes the poster board and seems to know what his assignment is as it’s clear that if he can get the rabbit’s battery he’ll get a banana in return. The ape leaves by climbing down the building along with background noises of police sirens. The Supervolt employees watch the ape venture out on his quest. Rip Torn is seen all excited that he hired someone tough enough to do the job. He then says out loud “It’s the end of the road, Mr. Bunny Man!” with a “To be continued” tagline placed below in the next scene. Makes me wonder how the Supervolt company will explain to the police about their visit with the 8th Wonder of the World. Cause Kong not only broke some windows, but he also might have done some damage to the streets of Manhatten. I’m sure the NYPD do not want an over sized ape running amok even if he’s doing an errand for a battery company.
The second commercial is the one I remember seeing on TV 19 years ago. The beginning shows King Kong climbing up the Empire State Building, with one thing on his mind. To retrieve the Energizer Rabbit’s battery and get a banana from the Supervolt Company. As he climbs the building he sees what is supposed to be Ann Darrow in one of the apartments of the building. However he’s not interested in carrying her out of the window like in the movie. So he ventures up to the top to find the Energizer Rabbit on the observation platform. He was ready to retrieve the battery only for his foot to get smashed by a window shutter by Ann Darrow who appears to be either disappointed about not getting captured by the ape or disliked the ape’s presence on the outside of the building. The ape groans in pain and immediately looses his balance and starts to fall right off of the building. The rabbit continues to beat his drum and move around on the observation tower. Along with a loud thump that cause the rabbit to jump off the ground after the ape went cement diving. The rabbit still keeps going and King Kong left a body print on 5th avenue. After that, I can totally imagine the headlines of the New York Times be “King Kong Dead: It was Bunny that killed the beast”. While the Supervolt company is already furious that their plans to get rid of the bunny failed big time.
Out of all of the Energizer commercials I’ve seen, this one was my personal favorite. I also have some other favorites associated with Energizer. But I’ll save those for another time, cause I have other great ones to talk about the next 2 months. It’s almost time for my 50th article, which is two weeks from now. In preparation for it, the 49th article will be on a Drug PSA that aired on TV during my youth. So yes the next two weeks will be about Drug PSAs. Until then enjoy the commercial I remember seeing on TV back when I was only 4 years old.
The Energizer company still uses their drummer rabbit as a mascot, so I won’t do an article on him unless they decide to stop using him. So instead I’ll discuss the first commercial ever made on him and a group of other battery operated drummer rabbits. That’s right this was the origin of the rabbit himself. Why does any one not talk about this one more than it’s sub-sequent successors? You got me there, I never once heard any one ever talk about the first commercial on the rabbit. Let alone one that actually shows other drummer rabbits besides the one we’re all so use to. Well let’s get this summary out of the way.
There are two different versions for this commercial one that’s short the other is long and makes it look like it’s a trio of commercials rather than just one. So let’s talk about the short version. We start off with an overview camera shot of battery operated rabbits all beating their drums. They all resemble the cheap battery operated animals you see at those toy stores at any American mall where they’re always displayed out front and with a fence to prevent them from exiting the store bounderies. And maybe one of those ball playing weasels toys which is basically a battery operated moving ball with a piece of fake furr attach to it. Anyways we hear the Narrator go “For years, you’ve seen some commercials where one battery company’s toys out last the other toys. So you may of assume their battery out lasts Energizer’s batteries”. After we hear that, the leader of the drummer rabbits looks to it’s left. Which we then see the Energizer Rabbit’s introduction. The Narrator then says “Fact is, Energizer was never invited to their play offs, and today’s Energizer won’t be invited either. Why? No battery lasts longer than Energizer.”. This causes the drummer rabbit leader’s right ear to drupe down like Peter Cottontail telling a fib. With the Narrator saying “Now you know”, but the leader drummer is like “some help you are!” with that kind of look. We then see the Energizer Rabbit move across the tagline of the commercial which the Narrator says “A word to the wise, Energizer!”.
The other commercial starts the same except you see the rabbit leave the sound stage with some one in the background shouting “Stop the bunny, please!”. We then see what looks like a commercial for nasal spray, but the commercial gets interupted by the rabbit as it creates a mess in the Nasal Spray pharamist’s lab. We’re then shown what appears to be one of those wine commercials that always take place at a diplomat’s mansion that always has diner parties. You know the kind where the Marx Bros. happen to be invited to and they make the party less boring cause they don’t blind in well with all of the aristocrates. But sadly they’re not at this party, instead we see the rabbit crashing the party, instead of seeing Harpo Marx breaking the legs of a folding table like in “Animal Crackers”. Having either of the two at a party is a party I’d totally love to attend to.
The commercial first aired in 1988, and was created by the All Effects team. A special effects company that would be responsible for a few of the later commercials until other companies came in to do the job. That included Industrial Light & Magic, Cafe FX, & Method Studios. Other than this commercial, I don’t believe the Battery Operated Drummer Rabbits appeared in any of the later commercials with the Energizer Rabbit. As the later ads depicted the Rabbit being pair with other characters besides rabbits. I’ll talk about one of them for next week, cause I remenber the ones that have trade mark characters than most of the ones that had entirely original characters paired with the rabbit. I would love to talk more about the Drummer Rabbits, but there really isn’t anything else to say about them other than they’re like the Energizer Rabbit, except with no shades and different drum sets. Next week however will be on a subject worth talking about greatly which is King Kong meeting the rabbit.
The short phrase that change the view of milk for a life time. The concept was re-used so many times, it became part of our culture. Out of the hundreds of Got Milk commercials, you’re probably asking why am I doing one on a Museum Staff member. Well it turns out that this commercial was in fact the original Got Milk commercial, that’s right the one that started it all. And also the most unlikely subject for the concept as each of them were different from one another, but always have to do with milk.
The commercial starts off with a museum staff member taking a break by listening to the radio and having a peanut butter sandwich. He’s clearly eating within an exhibit and in reality you would get canned if you eat any where in a museum except for designated areas. He hears about a random phone caller radio contest where one lucky winner can win $10K if they answer one tricky question over the phone. I’d be surprised if radio stations still do that today, with caller id’s more commonly used than back then it’s unlikely. So anyways the radio DJ says that the question is “Who shot Alexander Hamilton?” This got the museum staff member’s adrenaline running as he’s sitting in the exact exhibit that has the actual pistols used in Alexander’s duel and a portrait of the man who shot him which is A. Burr. The phone rings which the employee answers it and gets really excited when it’s the Radio DJ asking him for the answer. The staff member confidently says “A. Burr”, however the DJ didn’t caught wind of it. The employee tries to say it again, but to the DJ it sounds like mumbling. If it weren’t for the peanut butter that’s still in his mouth, he’d be a winner right about now. He quickly tries to pour a glass of milk, but is frustrated that there’s none left. The DJ tells him that his time is about to run out. The employee, tried all his might to say the name clearly but the DJ just replies “I’m sorry, but maybe next time” and hangs up. The employee now upset and just says “A. Burr” in a voice full of sorrow. The screen fades and we see the trademark white text with the narrator saying “Got Milk?”
This aired on TV back in October 29, 1993. The museum staff member was portrayed by Sean Whalen, who you might know best as the guy who got busted by Charlie’s Angels in the first movie involving the sky diving off of the plane scene. The Radio DJ was the voice of Rob Paulsen(Yakko, Dr. Scratchnsniff, Pinky, Original Raphel, and Antonie D’Coolette from SatAM Sonic). The voice of the Got Milk narrator was Denny Delk(a recurring actor for LucasFilms/LucasArts related games including the voice of Murray the skull from Monkey Island). While the director was none other than THE Michael Bay. The commercial was the advertisement industry’s top awarding commercial by 1994. From 1994 to 1995, fluid milk sales in the 12 regions totaled by 23.3 billion pounds, and increased advertising expenditures amounted to $37.9 million. By 2002, the ad was named one of the ten best commercials of all time by a USA Today poll, and was run again nationwide that same year. It has since been featured in books on advertising and used in case studies. According to the Got Milk? website, the campaign has over 90% awareness in the US and the tag line has been licensed to dairy boards across the US since 1995. Got Milk? is a powerful property and has been licensed on a range of consumer goods including Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels, baby and teen apparel, and kitchen ware. The trademarked line has been widely parodied by groups championing a variety of causes. Many of these parodies use a lookalike rather than the actual persons used in the original Got Milk? adverts. The slogan “Got Milk?” was licensed to the National Milk Processor Board (MilkPEP) in 1995 to use on their celebrity print ads, which, since then, have included celebrities from the fields of sports, media and entertainment, as well as fictional characters from TV, video games, and film but I’ll mention those another time.
Sometimes the original commercial is most memorable, but in this case I find this commercial to be not as appealing as the latter. I do enjoy how this boost up the knowledge to various kids on a tricky history class question that involves Alexander Hamilton. Not something I hear many people talk about least from where I live. But least commercials like these help you remember it. I don’t ever remember seeing this commercial on TV, as I have a better memory on the latter commercials made after this one which were more memorable cause they featured copyrighted characters used for the subject of having no milk. Which make this one look boring in comparison. So the next time I do another article on Got Milk it’ll be on those and not on commercials like these unless I feel like it, or there’s a popular demand, or there’s not enough commercials for me to review. With millions of commercials already been made, I have unlimited possibilities on what to review next. So for next time it’ll be another “first” commercial of another series which will be the Energizier Rabbit. Ever wonder where the rabbit came from, find out next week.
As promised here is the last Budweiser commercial to review as of right now. This commercial was made back when “Wassup” was still a new catchphrase. Not the commercial that started the trend, but one of the spin-off ads that was influenced by the original commercial. Why am I reviewing this instead of the original? Only cause this was the first Wassup commercial I ever saw on TV, or least whenever my dad is watching Football. So onward to the summary of this commercial.
The commercial starts with a dog exiting a house that was having a party. It then head towards an open field with no one stirring about. It gets caught by a tracker beam by a UFO. The UFO takes the dog to the home planet with structures that look like that of the planet Geonosis from “Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones”. The dog was brought into a hall filled with observers and the leader of the planet. They all look like modified versions of the Mudokons from the Oddworld games. It then turns out that the dog is in fact one of the aliens themselves disguised as an Earth pet to observe how humans live. The leader askes the alien scout what he has learn from Earth. The scout, simply quotes what he heard from the party which was “Wassup!” The leader then says “Wassup?” upon confusion on it’s meaning. But tends to like how it sounds, while the observers start to shout out “wassup” one upon the other. They say it so loud in the hall, that an Earth observation satellite caught wind of it. You know as in those out of town facilities where the only employees there are humans who spend their time listening for any messages, language or sounds from space. The human in charge of listening for signs of extra terrestrial life hears the quote over his servalence station and gets really excited to have found a source of intelligent life. He then says “Oh man! We are not alone!” While the guy behind him is probably thinking to himself “You pulling my leg again?” If it was Fox Mulder, he’d be like “Get that tape ready and secure it inside a hiding place before the government gets wind of this situation”. Unfortunately there’s no X-File reference in this commercial in particular. But that would of been hilarious if Fox Mulder was either the witness to the guy’s encounter with the alien message or is the guy listening to the message from space.
This commercial inspired a shirt sold by the Big Dogs Clothing store chain which is a complete opposite which shows a St. Bernard disguised as an alien and says “Wassup” in front of a group of St. Bernards. Besides that there weren’t any other merchandise or parodies focused on the aliens themselves, but rather just the “Wassup” quote. Such as in an episode of the Simpsons, Milhouse constantly tries to act cool by saying the quote over and over again. But no one even comments on his attempts cause he’s just embarrassing himself without realizing it. A lesson to be learned, never try to immate someone from a commercial, unless you know it’s going to make people laugh rather than shudder in embarrassment.
So that’s more than one month worth of beer articles, right now I feel like taking a break after doing that many. I know I’m leaving out some other beer mascots like Sasha the Hams Beer Bear, Spuds McKenzie, Bud Man, and the original Wassup commercial. But keep in mind that I will be doing articles on those like I did with these 5 recent beer articles. It’ll probably be another year when I consider doing some more beer commercial articles again. So when the time is right, you’ll be hearing me talking about cold ones once more. For now I like to talk about something else that you don’t see anymore. Like the earlier Got Milk commercials, that’s right for next week I’ll be talking about the original Got Milk commercial.
More reptiles being used for Budweiser, this time it’s tortoises. Not turtles, but tortoises as a tortoise has rough round feet while turtles have flat feet. This is a common mistake that occurs in every cartoon that implies that they are both the same when they are two different species of reptiles. Much like the issue of people getting Hares & Rabbits or Crocodiles and Alligators mix up for not looking at the small details on what makes them different from each other. With that biology lesson a side, let’s talk about the commercial in general about these two tortoises.
The commercial starts with two tortoises resting on the shore of a beach. Which both of them see two enviormentalists who both finished work and about to enjoy having two bottles of Budweiser. Once their backs are turn, one of the Toitoises stands up and dashes to the area where the bottles are. It immediately throws them to it’s friend which happens to have a cooler built inside it’s shell. The shell closes back in place once the beer is inside. The running tortoise returns to it’s original spot right before the two humans turn around and discovered their beer has been stolen. No one else in sight other than the tortoises themselves which both the two enviromentalists are probably thinking “No way a tortoise can run that quick!”. While the two tortoises now have some beer to enjoy once the humans left their beach.
The commercial was made by none other than the Character Shop company, and I’m sure you all know who they are right about now. The commercial in general was directed by Dave Merhar who also directed commercials for Hyundai, Snickers, Polaroid, ESPN, General Mills, Heineken and Lincoln Mercury. The location of the ad was filmed at a beach in Florida, December 2000. It took four weeks to film the entire commercial, however obstacles were in the way of Dave Merhar. The original idea was to use real tortoises for the commercial, however obtaining the right size reptiles and transporting them to the spot was time consuming and expensive. Plus actual tortoises can’t be tame to do what you want them to do. A lesson the production team behind Caddyshack learn that you can’t teach an actual gopher to do tricks. So they did what Caddyshack did, use an animatronic puppet for the commercial. So they hired the Character Shop company because of their genius work in animotronics and special effects.
To accomplish the appearance of the tortoises, Merhar and the Character Shop team did a series of mock-up tests using different sized and statured actors, and had them run, jump, and move within a mockup tortoise shell.They finally found the perfect performer for the role which is Michael Munoz, a 4 1/2 foot tall man who had what it takes to be a tortoise. Once the size of the creatures had been established, the crew went to work creating the sculptures and molds of the heads, legs, shells, and tails. Two puppets, and one ‘action suit” would be created, as well as various insert pieces. In a particularly striking bit of luck, the crew discovered an actual Galapagos shell that was 4′ long; the perfect size. Los Angeles biologist/naturalist/lecturer Dana Bleitz provided the team an actual shell which just happened to have been the shell of a tortoise that was, at the time of its’ death at the San Diego Zoo, the largest Galapagos Tortoise in captivity.
The shells, lightweight and thin, were duplicated in fiberglass cloth and polyester resin, and painted to perfection. The puppets were designed to accommodate two puppeteers; one for the front legs and shell, and one to handle the head, neck, breathing, and mouth movements. Off screen puppeteers operated the tortoise’s eye blinks and movements via radio control. While the latest advances in synthetic prosthetic skins favor silicone, the team decided to go with foam latex as the material of choice for the tortoises’ skin. Reason was Lazzarini (who puppeteered the head of the lead tortoise) explains, “These tortoises had a very matte finish to them. The other benefit was that the skins ended up being lighter, which is a saving grace. Anyone who’s ever had an animatronic puppet head at the end of their arm …horizontally…can appreciate the difference that the elimination of even two ounces can make.” Finally, foam latex had the ease of paintability, and the stretchability needed to simulate realistic tortoise skin.
Having four puppeteers underneath the tortoise required digging a large hole in the sand. A task proven difficult, since the “perfect’ location just happened to be above a foundation of sharp, hard-to-dig coral. Once excavated, the pit was then covered with plywood, reinforced with vertical struts, and covered with sand. Joining him under the puppets were Character Shop puppeteers Erik Shaper, Stephen Blandino, and the mercifully compact Michael Munoz. “Escape” hatches were provided in case of an emergency, and Lazzarini provided himself with a bottle in case it was a long shooting. Equipped with video monitors, the puppeteers were able to do numerous takes, and give Merhar and the client plenty of material to choose from. Then it was Munoz’ turn; he showed he had the mettle and the energy to run across 50 feet of sand numerous time. A tiring experience even without having to wear a hot, stuffy tortoise suit.
While just a one time pair of beer mascots, the Budweiser Tortoises were probably the most unique beer mascots I’ve reviewed yet. The tortoise with the cooler inside his shell was probably the reason why I regarded them to be unique. I wouldn’t be surprised that the Character Shop team got the idea of Cecil Turtle’s shell upon the making of this commercial. As in one of the fewest Looney Tune characters to out wit Bugs Bunny. No merchanside deal was made on the Tortoises much like how the Lobster from last week had no merchandise at all as well. I know I said I’ll do one month of Beer mascots, but I decided to do one more for next week and then do something else. The next one will involve the “Wassup” quote.