International Double Agent Spokesbunnies
Most Americans know the Energizer Bunny. How could they not? It’s a campaign that keeps going and going. But, maybe not many in this country know or remember where the fluffy, animated toy mascot originated.
Oddly, the little robotic bunny came from Energizer’s competitor Duracell. Huh? Yeah. In 1973, Duracell began running ads where a group of pink, drum-pounding, battery-operated toy bunnies all slowed to a halt except one, the one equipped with Duracell copper-top batteries.
Though the two characters have differences, they’re both pink battery-powered toy bunnies. So, how was Energizer able to do this? Duracell originally trademarked the “battery bunny” for use in the U.S. and other countries, but let the U.S. trademark lapse. Hence, the Energizer Bunny, in the U.S. and Canada.
The Spy in the Shadows
Legendary film director Cecil B. de Mille was one of the first to use artificial lighting for the big screen in his 1915 film “The Warrens of Virginia.” As de Mille told it, “In the scene in question, a spy came creeping through a curtain, and in order to make the effect more mysterious, I decided to light only half the spy’s face and to leave the rest in darkness…. I was so pleased with this trick of lighting that I used it throughout the film….”
When the film was shipped to the distributor, de Mille received a telegram from the manager which stated, “Have you gone mad! Do you suppose we can sell a film for its full price if you only show half a man?”
In a flamboyant act of salesmanship, de Mille responded, “If you fellows are such fools that you don’t know Rembrandt chiaroscuro when you see it, don’t blame me.”
The distributor responded with an equally brilliant marketing campaign, launching the film with the slogan, “The first film lighted in the Rembrandt style.” He then asked the exhibitors for double the usual price, and they paid it!
Gosh, That’s Handy!
The word “photography” could be said to mean “writing with light” when you break its parts down to their origins. With a harsh contrast you can draw a sinister aspect on a deadly villain and with soft, glowing strokes, a leading lady can be surrounded in angelic purity. Lighting controls the mood, style and impact of a photo. Here are some examples to give you an idea of the wide variety of methods to light a subject.