BLOG POST #9: Broadcasting (w/ link to new ad)

8 Nov


I don’t know about you, but peanuts are one of my favorite snacks.  I was intrigued to see that Planters is revamping Mr. Peanut.  He is one of their iconic characters, quietly accompanying the peanuts he represented.  However, it appears that the Mr. Peanut we all know is not good enough.  Folks at Planters felt that he nee

ded a makeover to appeal to contemporary consumers.

In his weekly column, Stuart Elliott detailed the creative strategy behind the change in Mr. Peanut. What are your thoughts on this?  Is Robert Downey, Jr. a good voice for Mr. Peanut?  Does Mr. Peanut need his sidekick?  What are the benefits and drawbacks of animating the silent, yellow, monocled peanut?

Secondly, what do you think of the new TV ad from an execution perspective?  Does the new ad effectively utilize television?  Was animation a wise choice?  How does the new ad compare to other Planters’ TV ads (see Ad #1, Ad #2, and Ad #3.  Feel free to click around and watch more)?


13 Responses to “BLOG POST #9: Broadcasting (w/ link to new ad)”

  1. Thea Corona November 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    The new Mr. Peanut ad featuring Mr. Peanut himself is truly amazing. From an advertising standpoint it is the perfect advertisement for the holidays, and brings a fun and creative concept to the never before animated Mr. Peanut. I personally think it was a great idea to bring the character to life, so many product figures have become icons I.e. Tony the Tiger, The Trix Rabbit, there’s really no drawback to bringing a peanut to life. As for the choice of using Robert Downey Jr voice, I think it’s a fine fit, mostly due to the fact that I’ve mentally associated Mr. peanuts voice with any specific tone. As an actor he has a very versatile and it works well with the cute peanut character. In comparison to their other advertisements, which we funny, the use of the character brings a fun natured aspect to a regular jar of peanuts, and the best part is that there is still so much they can do with him!

  2. Jordan MacConnell November 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    I am not yet sure how I feel about the new Mr. Peanut. I LOVE Robert Downy Jr. so I fully support that choice, but as for the type of animation used, I am not sure if I like it so much. Mr. Peanut is a classic character and although I have no real attachment to him, I enjoyed his yellow coloring and how cartoon he looked. I think the new animation makes him look a little creepy. It reminds me of very “old school” animation, like the old Rudolph movie. With all the new techniques technology has created I probably would not have reverted to that style of animation. Also I think earlier commercials were successful and humorous without Mr. Peanut having a voice, so I don’t know how much this will actually change anything. My favorite ad though was the one where they asked if people found Mr. Peanut attractive. It was entertaining and funny and also fit nicely with the idea of getting to know him by eating more peanuts.

  3. Shelby DuBois November 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Going into this Ad, I did not want to like it, but I did. I still like the old Me. Peanut better because it is such an iconic image, but I think Planters did a very good job with the new ad and the new character, although he does look a teensy bit creepy like Jordan said in her post. I like Robert Downey Jr.’s voice for the character; it is relatable and inviting. I don’t like the fact that he has a sidekick though. I don’t think he needs one and that it makes him look dependent. Mr. Peanut has always stood alone, why does he need a silent sidekick to follow him around now? My question is will the old Mr. Peanut disappear now? Is Planters going to keep him on their containers since it is so recognizable for the brand image or are they going to place the new character on the containers? If they did the latter, I do not think people would react very favorably just like when Gap changed the logo and Tropicana changed their container. I think people can accept and appreciate the new ads but are not ready to totally let go of the original Mr. Peanut.

  4. Jenny Deighton November 10, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    As for the reason behind the change, I feel that they were not well warranted. I believe that people could connect with Mr. Peanut on a level that didn’t need words. But if the creative team truly thought that giving Mr. Peanut was a truly needed change, placing Robert Downey, Jr. as the voice was an excellent choice. Downey, Jr. is known for playing cool, suave characters (Iron Man). This gives Mr. Peanut the same feel. As for the sidekick, he is UNEEDED. I don’t see any point in having him. If Mr. Peanut were as cool as they are trying to make him, he wouldn’t need a sidekick. Considering the benefits of having Mr. Peanut animated, it allows him to take on a bigger role as the spokesperson for Planters. The silent, yellow Mr. Peanut still could deliver a message (having consumers guess by his actions), just not as clear as the new one. The drawbacks simply go back to the fact that they changed Mr. Peanuts original look. Looking at the new ad, I am not totally against it, but I’m not sure I like it better than previous ads. I feel as though the new ad is trying to make Mr. Peanut to be a cool, hip party host, but he already was cool in his old form. So overall, I still like the old Mr. Peanut better, but I can’t say that I completely hate the new one.

  5. Molly McGranahan November 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I agree in saying that bringing Mr. Peanut to life allows the Planters brand to have a consistent spokesperson, which they lacked in their previous advertisements. I believe that having a character that is so easily recognized come to life to audibly speak about the brand in a comedic manner will definitely benefit Kraft in the long run. My main concern is with a point made in Elliot’s article. He stated that “…the makeover is indicative of efforts by marketers to revive classic ad mascots, slogans, and jingles to appeal to present-day shoppers.” Reconstructing Mr. Peanut practically from top to bottom, and skinning him of his classic and expected yellow tone, is doing the exact opposite of Elliot’s claim. In Kraft’s supposed attempt to revitalize a classic ad mascot, they decreased his authenticity. I am not opposed to the new commercial, I found it highly amusing, but I don’t understand why they thought turning Mr. Peanut into an animated character who talks, laughs, and hosts parties with his new sidekick would make him seem like a more classic ad mascot. The old Mr. Peanut could not have been any more classic. I, like Shelby, am interested to see whether or not their jars of peanuts will change to feature the new Mr. Peanut. If the new Mr. Peanut is actually the new face of the brand, I would advise the change to allow consumers to get used to the new and “improved” mascot, since he will be appearing in TV ads. I do think it will cause some frustration.

  6. Sarah Cunningham November 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    I think that giving Mr. Peanut animation was a step in the right direction for Planters and I agree with Stuart Elliott where he says in the article in that it now allows for viewers to personally interact with Mr. Peanut. I think that this advertisement was hilarious and it really brought Planters Peanuts up to speed with the way in which audiences are being engaged and captured by advertisements. While I do love the original Mr. Peanut, I think the marketing team did a great job at debuting the new face of Mr. Peanut through this ad. I agree with Jordan that the ad reminds me of the old claymation movies of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman so that it still captures the authenticity of this nearly 100 year old logo. This new commercial is definitely a new way of going about advertising for Planters but I think it fits well especially during the holiday season. Their other commercials are still great and have a great amount of humor in them but I think in showing off this new face of Mr. Peanut, this was the best route to take for Planters.

  7. zach boothe November 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    I loved the commercial, and the new Mr. Peanut. It’s the perfect time to show the ad because a lot of holiday parties are coming up, and peanuts are a classic snack to have out for everyone. Robert Downey is a great voice for the new Mr. Peanut, and he did a great job in the ad. I don’t think Mr. Peanut needs a sidekick…was the little peanut his sidekick? I thought he was just the butler or something. People want to relate to the brand, so this new Mr. Peanut gives them something to relate to. He’s classy, witty, knows how to throw a good party, and well, is a perfect fit for Downey Jr. to play the voice. I think it was a wise choice all around to announce a new Mr. Peanut and animate this tv ad. I believe it was an executive descision because it feels like it was a good time to change their brand’s image. It’s not state-of-the-art animation, but at the same time it does look fantastic.

  8. Lisa Selnick November 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    If Kraft were to go to the extreme of revamping their signature peanut and adding a voice then I really like the fact that they did choose Robert, Downy Jr. for the role. I do not think however that Mr. Peanut needs his sidekick but I can see how the more natural appearance could be bad for the product because he is no longer yellow and standing out more than the rest of the competitors. Also, it can be a long process before customers start to recognize the new peanut as the signature peanut of Kraft. The Peanut I feel still needs to have a little bit added to so he can stand out more and to catch the contemporary viewer’s eye. The new commercial I am very fond of. It is humorous and easy for viewers to watch. The commercial that debuted in 1995 was boring in my own opinion. It was as though too many things were cluttering my vision of the commercial. It has too many things going on for a commercial about peanuts. I do love Kraft peanuts and when I do buy them I make sure they are Kraft

  9. Samantha Montgomery November 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Everyone else really seems to like the “new” Mr.Peanut, but I think its terrible. Maybe its because I am a fan of my childhood favorites, or maybe it is because I don’t like change. I know that if my dad had seen the new ad, he would feel personally offended. I understand wanting to give personality to your character, but I think Mr. Peanut already had swag. He had the pimp hat and the pimp cane and he was already cool. For me, the new ad was too big of a step in a new direction. I think maybe if Planters had not made such a drastic step from the original ads, it would not have shocked me so much. However, I do enjoy that they use Robert Downey Jr.’s voice. I think most would agree that he has a good TV voice. I also don’t think it is necessary for Mr.Peanut to have a sidekick. What does he honestly need a sidekick for? Maybe I’m just old school, but I feel like this ad was a big step in the wrong direction for Planters.

  10. Nick Tsangaris November 11, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Honestly, I was not comfortable with the new Planters Peanut commercial for a number of reasons. Number one, I have a deep connection to Christmas stories in which claymation was used. I love those kinds of stories, and to associate the Planter’s man with them just kinda creeps me out. Second of all, it totally disassociates with the original character and original creative concept of the Planter’s advertising scheme. The Planters man never talked, and now not only is he talking, but he is talking with a weird accent. This is not ok. I do not understand why Planters would try to alter their brand image so drastically. And now that they have, they are probably regretting it. In my opinion, to change any aspect of your brand identity in any type of drastic way is only asking for trouble. The Old Navy fiasco is also proof of this. Unless your company is dramatically suffering, which Planters was not, I see no reason to change the image.

  11. Ollie Birckhead November 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I personally do not see a problem with the rebranding of Mr. Peanut. The major character traits of Mr. Peanut are retained the only real difference is what color he is and the voice he possesses. The sidekick is dorky and unnecessary in a scrappy doo sort of way though. In addition to this, adding Downey’s voice grants the ad personality and name recognition. Downey, in recent years has revitalized his career and made quite a name for himself. Attaching his image to the brand is sure to draw in new consumers. The ad itself is workably effective, the humor is funny and the brand is showcased in a way that makes people want to buy it. The whole “Mr. Peanut having woodland creatures as friends” thing doesn’t make sense, but it’s cute and will draw in children. Also, the new campaign has the potential to spawn many other ads in the same vein.

  12. Ralph Fritz November 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    It is certain that this change in the brand standard is bold, but I will be interested to see if it proves beneficial for the brand- or if the people at Planters will wish they spent all this money on developing a nut for those with peanut allergies. I did recall two of the three ads mentioned above, and the iconic Planter’s mascot is all that I needed to see at the end of the most novel one to know the brand (similar to the weird Cadbury commercial also ironically featuring eyebrows). The choice to give Mr. Peanut a voice is intriguing enough, but not everything benefits from the ability to computer generate images. I still expected a mostly 2d Mr. Peanut and was kinda offput by the modern imaginining. I am a fan of Robert Downey, but unless you cast Jude Law as the voice of his sidekick you’re only getting half of your potential awesome. Perhaps I’m aging out of the market that this new campaign is attempting to capture, but I do not think I like this paradigm shift very much.

  13. Vanessa Felipe-Morales November 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    I think this is a horrible idea! Mr. Peanut is not “relateable” to consumers? He’s not supposed to be, he is a peanut! Personally I cannot get on board with Robert Downy Jr.’s voice coming out of this character, nor do I find the new look any more appealing in any way than the original. It is 3-D. Is that the only way we have to grab the younger generations’ attention? And what does a peanut need a sidekick for!?? Next we will be “revamping” the Monopoly guy and The Cheerio’s honey bee! I was personally very depressed one morning when I was feeling nostalgic and saw that Whinnie the Pooh was on tv, only to discover that the Whinnie I once knew is now a pixar creation with a not-so-cuddly voice. We need to stop trying to appeal to this new fad and stick to the originals… Some things were not meant to be altered!

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