Puttermans, The -
Robotic family seen on a series of
Duracell Battery commercials in the 1990s.
Herb & Flo
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
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
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
||[a picnic in
the back yard] So, is everybody using
The second I heard they had a battery that
outlasted all of the brands, I bought the
family a whole case.
||[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
into a plate of food]
||Herb, do you
slip her one of those other batteries.
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
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