Planters Pauses #RIPeanut Campaign—but Will Still Air Super Bowl Spot

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Planters has hit pause on its #RIPeanut Super Bowl campaign, which saw the demise of the brand’s iconic mascot, Mr. Peanut, in the wake of basketball star Kobe Bryant’s death.

However, the “pause,” as a spokesperson for the brand referred to it, as of now only applies to the brand’s paid efforts on platforms like Twitter and YouTube, as well as other pre-Big Game outreach. The Super Bowl spot, which features Mr. Peanut’s funeral, will air as planned on Sunday.

“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,” said a spokesperson for the brand over email.

Last week, Planters dropped an advertising bombshell when the brand announced the death of its 104-year-old mascot, Mr. Peanut, in a pre-Super Bowl spot. In the ad, actors Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes accompany Mr. Peanut on a ride in the Peanutmobile that goes awry, with the vehicle swerving off a cliff and Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself so Snipes and Walsh could stay hanging on a branch that was beginning to break under the weight of the trio.

After the spot broke, Mr. Peanut shot to the top of the trending charts, with the brand’s promoted hashtag, #RIPeanut, running all week long. Planters said fans could “tune in to Mr. Peanut’s funeral during the third quarter of the Super Bowl to celebrate his life.”

The brand’s decision to pull paid media for the moment is because of the news of the death of NBA superstar and retired Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Planters is a veteran Super Bowl advertiser—last year’s spot starred Alex Rodriguez and Charlie Sheen, who Mr. Peanut saved from bad snacks during the game. It marked Mr. Peanut’s first appearance in a Super Bowl ad.

For all the latest Super Bowl advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 54 Ad Tracker. And join us on the evening of Feb. 2 for the best live coverage of the commercials anywhere.

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