Planters Nuts has changed its Super Bowl LIV ad plans following the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others on January 26, 2020. According to Sports Illustrated, the company paused part of its Super Bowl ad campaign after airing a preview commercial featuring Mr. Peanut’s death just days before Bryant and eight others were killed in a helicopter crash.
“We wanted you to know that we are saddened by this weekend’s news and Planters has paused campaign activities, including paid media, and will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy. At this point, the pause impacts only paid advertising (on channels like Twitter and YouTube), and some other outreach in the immediate wake of this tragedy. No change has been made to our plans for Super Bowl Sunday,” the brand said in a statement.
The original ad, which can be viewed below, features Mr. Peanut giving his life to save actors Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes after the Nutmobile veers off a cliff, leaving the three characters hanging from a tree branch. Mr. Peanut lets go of the branch to save Walsh and Snipes and falls to his death below.
The Road Trip Commercial Will Not Air During the Super Bowl Pregame, as Originally Planned
The 30-second “Road Trip” ad, which has nearly 7 million views on YouTube, sees Mr. Peanut, Walsh and Snipes traveling down a narrow cliff road in the Nutmobile when they come across an armadillo and swerve to avoid hitting it. The Nutmobile goes crashing into the canyon below as all three characters cling desperately to a tree branch on the edge of the cliff. Mr. Peanut valiantly lets go of the branch, which is about to snap under the weight of all three of them, and falls to his fiery death below as the peanut van explodes.
The ad originally aired on January 21, just a few short days before Bryant’s death. According to Ad Age, Planters will no longer air the “Road Trip” commercial in the Super Bowl pregame as the company had previously planned. Instead, the company will be airing a 30-second commercial featuring the legume mascot’s funeral in the second quarter of the game. The funeral ad was originally going to air in the third quarter, but was pushed up to the second and will now air shortly before a tribute to Bryant is set to run during the Super Bowl halftime show, Ad Age reports.
Update: Check out the funeral ad below, which aired during the second quarter of the game. The ad was posted on the former Twitter account titled “The Estate of Mr. Peanut,” which now reads “Baby Nut.”
The new 30-second ad features Mr. Peanut’s funeral, which starts as a melancholy affair, but doesn’t stay that way for long. While Walsh, Snipes, Mr. Clean and the Koolaid Man are gathered for his funeral, the Koolaid man’s tears water Mr. Peanut’s grave. Suddenly, the sun pops out from behind the clouds and shines on his grave, and a vine starts growing. As everyone stands around questioning what’s going on, Baby Nut is born! Check out the ad above.
Planters is Still Planning to Run Mr. Peanut’s Funeral Ad
The “Road Trip” commercial initially kicked off a marketing push focused on mourning the death of Mr. Peanut and promoting the Super Bowl funeral ad, according to Ad Age. Planters has not released the funeral ad for Mr. Peanut just yet; however, Heavy will update this post with the promo as soon as it becomes available.
A Twitter account titled “The Estate of Mr. Peanut” wrote a heartfelt tribute on the site, urging followers to pay their respects. “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.“
The same account posted a preview picture of Mr. Peanut’s funeral commercial on Sunday, a few hours before kickoff. The post reads, “Tonight, we say goodnut,” and features a photo of Mr. Peanut surrounded by a wreath and his death date.
Once Planters airs the funeral ad, Heavy will update this post with the promo as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, enjoy the clips above, and check out this this author’s profile for all of your TV coverage and Super Bowl entertainment news!