To cleanse the palate, it feels like the right moment culturally for Planters to finally phase out Mr. Peanut. This is a populist era. Not for us, a top-hat-sporting, monocle-wearing peanut aristocrat.
The new Mr. Peanut should be a peanut of the people. Blindly trustful of authoritarian leaders. Skeptical of expertise and vaccines. Big — big — into QAnon.
This website does and always will support rapacious capitalism, though, and so today we mourn the original, a peanut-man who wasn’t above selling the broken bodies of his comrades for human consumption to get rich.
It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that Mr. Peanut has died at 104. In the ultimate selfless act, he sacrificed himself to save his friends when they needed him most. Please pay your respects with #RIPeanut pic.twitter.com/VFnEFod4Zp
— The Estate of Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) January 22, 2020
The occasion for this dumb gimmick is Planters’ upcoming Super Bowl ad, which features Wesley Snipes(!) and Matt Walsh watching Mr. Peanut plummet to his fiery death after a horrific car accident. Every fall ad agencies face the momentous challenge of designing Super Bowl spots for their clients that will stand out from the pack on a day when nearly every ad is a standout. Kudos to whoever it was who thought, “We’re going to literally incinerate the corporate mascot and hold a funeral for him on TV.”
“And we’re going to get Wesley Snipes to be in it. Just because.”
The teaser ad below served its purpose, though, by getting people on social media to start chattering about what the angle is. Is Planters rebranding with a new and woker mascot, possibly the grieving Mrs. Peanut? Or is Mr. Peanut’s manner of death just a cheeky way to roll out a new “roasted” product?
Or are they doing some sort of full corporate reboot, in which they inexplicably start specializing in a product for which they’re not at all known?
My money’s on “new product.” They’re going to have Snipes and Walsh visit the crash site and be so overcome by the delicious savory aroma that they end up spreading Mr. Peanut’s mortal remains on toast and devouring him. Roasted peanut butter, mm mmmm. (He’s been “creamyated,” says Stephen “redsteeze” Miller.) Why shouldn’t this insane concept be carried out to its insane logical conclusion?