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Sun 19 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Duracell bunny bounces back

Battery-maker Duracell has announced plans to ramp up its use of the world famous drum-beating Duracell bunny in an attempt to take market share from its leading rival Energizer.

Battery-maker Duracell has announced plans to ramp up its use of the world famous drum-beating Duracell bunny in an attempt to take market share from its leading rival Energizer.

The company is aiming to become the number one battery supplier in the Middle East.

Regional Duracell executives have increased the marketing and advertising budget by up to 35% on last year’s figure and will roll out a 360-degree promotional campaign making extensive use of the bunny, which has been the company’s mascot for 32 years.

The pink bunny is one of the world’s most recognised brand icons and, although it has been used sporadically, has never been extensively promoted in the Middle East.

It was first used in 1973 for a television commercial in the US and has appeared in different themed ads around the world ever since.

“There are so many important aspects of the bunny that can be leveraged,” said Ranu Kawapra, regional business director at Duracell Middle East and Africa. “There is a high degree of brand connection with it and we want to harness the emotional attachment between the consumer and the bunny.”

Duracell will use an existing international television commercial that has been dubbed into Arabic and other regional languages for the campaign, which will gain momentum ahead of the company’s sponsorship of the World Cup finals next year.

The ads will see the World Cup soccer bunny scoring six goals from different angles, emphasising the company’s claim that the battery lasts six times longer than ordinary batteries. It will be aired on Pan-Arab satellite channels.

Outdoor, online and print ads will also be used and mini soccer bunnies will also be used as premium giveaways.The company also plans to use the bunny widely at point-of-purchase areas in supermarkets and electronic stores.Kawapra said that Duracell had a 43% share of the global market, but sales in the region were behind those of Energizer.

“We are looking to make aggressive market share gains,” he said. “We wouldn’t be investing in this campaign otherwise.”Duracell claims the brand has a recall rate of 99% compared to Energizer’s 77%.

“Batteries don’t evoke emotional responses like some products do, so by using the bunny, we hope to attract consumers in the Middle East to buy Duracell,” said Kawapra.

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