Many viewers tune into the Super Bowl not to see who’s going to take home the championship trophy but to see the innovative commercials that are presented throughout the show. Now comes word that the Planters Peanuts campaign has been affected by the recent tragic death of Kobe Bryant.
Planters Peanuts Alters Campaign
Earlier this year, it had been announced that Planters Peanuts was going to hold a funeral for the fictional character Mr. Peanut in a Super Bowl commercial. The character had been killed off in a pre-game commercial following a crash involving Mr. Peanut, Wesley Snipes, and Matt Walsh. After the trio was ejected from the Nutmobile, Mr. Peanut died.
The funeral spot is going to continue, as previously scheduled, however, according to AdAge, Planters Peanuts is pausing an online campaign that was going to take place on Twitter and YouTube, out of respect for Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, 13, and the other seven lives lost in Sunday’s helicopter crash.
“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,” the brand said in a statement earlier this week.
Planters Peanut Company is over 100 years old, having been founded in 1906 in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. by Amedoc Obici. In 1916, Antonio Gentile, a schoolboy, submitted sketches of an anthropomorphic peanut to a design contest. His submission was selected as the winner! The prize was a mere $5 but Obici made pals with the designer’s family and paid for his and his four sibling’s way through college. Gentile became a doctor but died of a heart attack in 1939.
Mr. Peanut became synonymous with Planters Peanuts, his image appearing on nearly every package and advertisement. It’s unclear whether or not Mr. Peanut will stay dead. In 2006, Planters put forth an online poll to see if a pocket watch, a bow tie, or cufflinks should be added to his look. The company found out that not everyone likes change as fans voted for no change to occur.
Super Bowl LIV has the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs. The game is set for Sunday with a 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff and will air on Fox.