Nearly a week after his oddly sudden demise, we are still talking about Mr. Peanut more than we have in years. (Well, except for that one time that he linked up with sex expert Dr. Ruth, but we try not to think about that.) If you still find yourself wondering why the hell any exec would want to off the fancily dressed legume in his prime, you can just look to Avengers: Endgame, which apparently served as the campaign’s inspiration. While talking to MSN about the process behind the viral campaign—which the company premiered on their social channels via a teaser clip of his sacrificial death—Mike Pierantozzi, Group Creative Director at Planters’ creative agency of record VaynerMedia, shared that the idea spawn with an observation they made during the early days of Endgame discourse.
“We started talking about how the internet treats when someone dies — specifically, we were thinking about fictional characters, [like when] Iron Man died,” Pierantozzi explained. “When Iron Man died, we saw an incredible reaction on Twitter and on social media. It’s such a strange phenomenon.” Pierantozzi said. He then said it led them to consider, “What would happen and how would the world react if he passed away?” Clearly, it would lead to a lot of confusion, mildly horny jokes, and a general sense of, “Why do this?” But ultimately, as we’re willing to concede, it did draw attention to the 104-year-old mascot in a way that previous efforts haven’t quite accomplished, forever relegating this moment to the This Is Pretty Shitty, But It Sort Of Works category of digital marketing.
The clip was supposed to lead to a larger display during Super Bowl LIV. Specifically, Planters intended to air the “funeral” during the third quarter’s block of commercials. However, according to the New York Daily News, the company has reportedly suspended the campaign indefinitely after the sudden death of Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash on Sunday. “We wanted you to know that we are saddened by this weekend’s news and Planters has paused all campaign activities, including paid media, and will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy,” a spokesperson for Planters reportedly said.
See? They are still capable of good ideas.