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Robots, Androids & Cyborgs

Puttermans, The - Robotic family seen on a series of Duracell Battery commercials in the 1990s.

The Putterman Family herb, Flo, Zack and Trish - DURACELL BATTERIES
The Puttermans

Herb and Flo Putterman - DURACELL BATTERIES

Zank and Trish Puttermna - DURACELL BATTERIES

Herb & Flo Zack and Trish

Created by ad man Steven Johnson while working for the New York-based Ogilvy & Mathers Agency, the Puttermans were actually actors sporting state-of-the-art latex prosthetics and head-to-toe wardrobes.

Their costumes were a series of boxy modular units made from stiff foam rubber and coated with urethane purposely designed to make the viewers wonder whether these weird family of characters were computer-generated robots or stop-motion animation.

The Puttermans consisted of father Herb, his wife Flo, and their kids, son Zack, daughter Trish, and, of course, Grandma. Each family member has a large copper top battery protruding from their back.

To preserve the mystique of the weird semi-robotic family, the folks at Duracell would not reveal the actor's identities. It was revealed however, that Grandma Putterman was played by a male actor.

In the earlier commercials, the Puttermans laughed when a talkative relative at a family picnic fell face first into a plate of spaghetti when his battery died (Obviously not a Duracell).

Flo: [a picnic in the back yard] So, is everybody using Duracell batteries?
Male Guest: You kiddng? The second I heard they had a battery that outlasted all of the brands, I bought the family a whole case.
Female Guest: [talkative] Reminds me of the first time we tried Duracell Batteries. We were living in Tulsa with your great Aunt Emma Ha HA!. We shared a one room apart....[suddenly falls forward into a plate of food]
Flo: Herb, do you slip her one of those other batteries.
Herb: [sheepishly] Me? [Everyone laughs]

Later, commercials featured Trish Putterman and her boyfriend Bruce as they sat on a porch swing and hoped the romantic night would go on forever (with the help of Duracell).

And to further publicize the company slogan "No battery is stronger longer" we discovered Grandma Putterman was so filled with energy that she couldn't stop dancing.

The Putterman ad campaign was created to combat the Energizer Bunny's "Keeps going and going and going" commercial spots produced by the Eveready Battery Company. See also "The Energizer Bunny"

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