- The Kraft Heinz Company's Planters brand is using social media to build interest in its Super Bowl pre-game ad, the company has revealed in a press release. In the pre-game spot produced by VaynerMedia, Mr. Peanut sacrifices himself so that his friends, actor Wesley Snipes and comedian Matt Walsh, can survive after their peanut mobile crashes. The company on Jan. 21 released the teaser video via a supposed "leak" on Twitter.
- A Planters tweet about the "death" of Mr. Peanut at 104 years old has more than 25,000 retweets and more than 100,000 likes. The #RIPeanut hashtag has been trending, per Ad Age. The brand's official Super Bowl ad, which will air during the third quarter, will center on Mr. Peanut’s funeral.
- In advance of game day, Planters is also running an experiential activation. The NUTmobile will be making the rounds leading up to the Super Bowl handing out commemorative pins for the mascot. Additionally, from Jan. 24-27, people can win commemorative packaging of Mr. Peanut throughout the years.
Social media is increasingly leveraged by brands to extend the life of a Super Bowl ad to before and after game day. Investment in production and expensive media buys have been associated with a much longer platform as brands utilize these ads for online conversations for months to come. Planters is taking this strategy to heart by creating a series of ads and using social media to build buzz before the game. The strategy is likely to keep the conversation going well after the third quarter funeral ad runs.
This dramatic pre-game ad dropped a week and a half before the big game in order to get the word out about Mr. Peanut’s death, which has already led to a viral conversation. Twitter accounts from celebrities and competitors including Snickers, Oreo, Netflix show "BoJack Horseman," "The Late Show" and "Jeopardy!" are among those accounts who paid their respects on Twitter, giving the peanut brand wide exposure and building anticipation for the so-called funeral ad.
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
As fans memorialize the peanut on Twitter, NUTmobiles are hitting the streets to connect with fans through experiential activations. These sightings will also likely generate social media posts, as consumers that interact with the vehicle will likely share photos of both the van and the commemorative pins on Instagram and Twitter.
All of this will be happening before the actual Super Bowl ad airs, when all of the hubbub could potentially prove to have been in vain. Viewers can't be certain that Mr. Peanut might make a miraculous recovery. Bud Light last year appeared to kill off the Bud Knight in its Game of Thrones-inspired Super Bowl spot, but he was later resurrected.