Energizer taps power of supernatural to brand e2

'Batteries not included.' This all too familiar phrase will lead to a huge surge of battery purchases to accompany toys and electronic devices given this Christmas. In fact, the battery industry in Canada does 40% of its business between September and December according to Energizer Canada, so the festive season is the perfect time for the manufacturer to launch a national campaign for its e2 premium product.

‘Batteries not included.’ This all too familiar phrase will lead to a huge surge of battery purchases to accompany toys and electronic devices given this Christmas. In fact, the battery industry in Canada does 40% of its business between September and December according to Energizer Canada, so the festive season is the perfect time for the manufacturer to launch a national campaign for its e2 premium product.

The goal of the campaign was to differentiate e2 from Energizer’s better-known battery, Max, and to give the newer brand its own space, so Palmer Jarvis DDB in Toronto, Energizer’s agency of record for the past 18 months, decided to focus on the use of the element titanium within the premium product. Energizer claims that the titanium compound, which was specially formulated for e2, makes the battery last longer and gives a better performance from more demanding devices.

‘There are huge numbers of consumers in Canada who would say they don’t know what titanium is,’ says Patrick Good, brand manager for Mississauga, Ont-based Energizer Canada. ‘It’s a difficult concept to explain to a consumer, so that became the catalyst to this campaign.’

With this insight in mind, PJ DDB created three posters with a supernatural outer-space theme, to be displayed as street billboards and mall posters. Vertical and horizontal mall posters will be hitting major city locations across the country in early December, to be followed by a series of outdoor billboards hitting the streets in mid-December.

‘We came up with the idea that titanium is a mysterious element like Kryptonite, and built on the concept that Energizer has somehow managed to harness this strange, powerful element from outer space and put it into batteries,’ says Harry Cooklin, account director at PJ DDB.

In each poster, the top of the battery is used to reflect a different image. One shows a corn field, where crop circles have been left in the shape of the top of a battery. In another, the top is represented by the planet Saturn, and the third poster uses a UFO image. Each poster features the tag line: ‘Titanium Power From Beyond.’

‘When we were looking at the battery and its physical property, we noticed that it looks a little bit like the shape of a UFO, (Editor’s note: they must have looked at the thing too long…) so we started to think about other objects we could use that are out of this world,’ says Andrew Simon, copywriter at PJ DDB. ‘Nobody really knows where titanium comes from so we wanted to reflect that mysterious, supernatural theme in the tag line.’

The target demo for this campaign is the very broad 18-to-49 age group, since, as Good points out: ‘Everybody that has a pulse needs batteries.’ However, he adds: ‘Only 10% of Canadian households need a battery this powerful,’ so the campaign is skewed towards the younger techno-savvy group, particularly higher income families, who may use them in high-drain devices such as palm-pilots and gaming consoles.

The broad audience made the task of media buying very challenging, but PJ DDB decided that outdoor and mall messaging were the ideal ways to display images of outer-space. ‘We wanted to hit consumers in high-traffic locations when they are on their way to buy batteries, so malls were the perfect choice,’ says Simon.

The campaign comes on the back of PJ DDB’s multi-media campaign for the Energizer Max battery, which launched in November, spun out of the familiar Energizer Bunny mascot. It made use of escalator wraps, billboards, mall posters and TV. An additional 15-second TV spot with bunny will follow in late December, to promote both the Max and e2 batteries. It was created by TBWAChiatDay in Los Angeles (PJ DDB’s sister agency under the Omnicom umbrella), and later adapted by PJ DDB’s Toronto office.

Cooklin says further executions for e2 on the outer-space theme will follow next year, although he would not give details. ‘If the campaign flies and has excellent results then we would love the opportunity to do a TV spot with this theme,’ he says. ‘We definitely want to expand beyond the three original ideas.’