Animals in advertising — Bat
Bats form the order of Chiroptera which is the second lar­gest order of mammals with over 900 species and they can be found throughout the world in tropical and tem­perate regions. Common and widespread as they are, they are nevertheless not popular with copywriters. We found only three cases.

In one way or another, bats have something to do with waves, and echoes. What exactly, though, doesn't seem to be clear. They navigate in the darkness of night and are therefore shown with a dark background.

first published: viii.2020

(1) 2003 – Natural simplicity — level & flow control
(2) 200? – From DC to light — signal generators
(3) 2006 – Safely through the night — car with night vision

Let's start with
the advertisement (1) where the copywriter seemingly best understood how bats work. The advertisement is for ultrasonic and radar transmitters used in level and flow control. The equipment emits pulses and listens for the echo, just like bats do. In that light a good choice, but would it not have been better to choose a species that does the same in an aquatic environment, such as a dolphin? ()

The advert comes below the caption natural simplicity and in the first line they emphasize the user-friendliness of their devices. Then comes a long text with words as easy, intuitive, simple, efficient, and by nature. They close with … what's more natural? What the bat can do without thinking, we can now also just as easily with the right device. It clearly is a variation of the Learnt from Mother Nature theme.

Our second advertisement
(2) is from a supplier of test equipment —signal generators— and the bat is shown together with waveforms and a dish antenna. The bat, like in the previous case, only appears as a natural source of waves and is not even once mentioned in the long text below the image. According to this advert the company's motto sounds Listen to the future. I have no idea what this should mean.

You make your
way safely through the night says advertisement (3) for a car with Night Vision. The advertisement appeared in several versions, up to 4 pages long, but we only show the compact form here : one page having the essential elements, the car, the view, the bat.

The story starts well enough with a row of wavefronts advancing from the animal towards the car. They have it correct that bats emit waves in order to see in the dark of the night. Bats activily emit ultrasonic waves for their echolocation. The car's system, however, … uses an infrared camera that continuously scans an area up to three hundred meters in front of the car in the dark … on which all objects that radiate heat light up. It therefore clearly is a passive system working in an entirely different frequency range — bats operate in the Khz range, while infrared goes in the THz frequencies, that is 10³ versus 10¹².

Bats are obviously not the best choice as Nature's counterpart of their device. Some snakes, fishes, and frogs can sense infrared radiation and would have been a better choice. But perhaps car brands are not keen on being associated with these animal groups.

 We have many advertisements with dolphins and the features which are most appealing for copywriters are intelligence, communication, and freedom. Echolocation is mentioned in only one advertisement from 2001, about sensors.