This article originally appeared in Campaign
If you’ve been to the cinema at all over the last few years, you probably know that origin stories are Hollywood’s favourite narrative crutch.
As well as seeing obvious candidates likes Batman or Spider-Man introduced, then rebooted, only to be introduced all over again, recent films have also happily dug into the untold (and potentially unnecessary) backstories of Snow White and The Wizard of Oz.
With this in mind, it seems inevitable that someone would eventually get the bright idea to ask the million chocolate coin question: where did the Easter Bunny come from? Well, the answer is finally here, courtesy of German retailer Netto.
To celebrate Easter weekend, the brand released a charming, rather sprawling ode to the world’s only chocolate egg-producing festive-appropriate mammal. Truly the ‘Easter Surprise’ of the title.
So how did the Easter Bunny come to be? In true comic book fashion, Netto’s spot retcons a possible origin for the rabbit, with the Bunny’s parents meeting at a kind of interspecies forest disco. Despite Dad being a rabbit and Mum being a hen, their eyes meet across the dance floor and – following some combination of birds and bees – the Easter Bunny follows soon after.
As far as biology goes, you do need to suspend your disbelief a little bit – if you’re looking for a reasonable scientific explanation for a magical bunny, you may need to look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the Easter Bunny finds himself at school, where the other animals mock him for his unusual habit of producing delightful coloured eggs. Pushed away from his home as an adorable pariah, the Easter Bunny resettles in the big city, where his party trick proves a real hit with chocolate-loving humans. Having conquered his demons, the Easter Bunny returns home to his parents, a massive Easter egg in tow.
The cynics out there might be quick to pick holes in Netto’s fantastical concept. If the Easter Bunny was born from a bird egg, why does he produce chocolate eggs? Do these eggs contain sentient chocolate chicks?
Even stranger, why in the world is Easter Bunny seen being interviewed on the news? But what’s most fascinating about ‘Easter Surprise’ is its canny application of the glitzy Christmas ad aura to Easter weekend.
Viewers may be used to a surfeit of big budget campaigns in December, but Netto has shown that other Christian holidays can be just as readily turned into schmaltzy, animated marketing campaigns. Can we look forward to John Lewis’ record-breaking Pentecost spot?
Like those Christmas campaigns, ‘Easter Surprise’ has tremendous production value, a storyline as sweet as a chocolate egg and a tearjerker of an acoustic score to rival the best of them. With over 11 million views since release, Netto and agency Jung Von Matt have clearly achieved what they set out: rebooting the Easter Bunny franchise for all to enjoy.
Only time will tell what beloved characters will get the origin story treatment next, and which enterprising brand will get there first.