No Babysitter Needed For Planters' Mascot In JKR-led Brand Refresh
by Rudy Sanchez on 05/19/2021 | 3 Minute Read
The name Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe might elicit mostly blank, confused stares, but the debonair legume better known as Mr. Peanut has been the monocled mascot for nut and snack brand Planters for 105 years.
In 2020, the brand planned an audacious advertising campaign that started with the centenarian Mr. Peanut sacrificing his life to save others, then plenty of paid promotion across all media, leading to a funeral for the mascot during a Super Bowl ad with him getting reborn as a baby peanut. Planter’s death of a sales-nut campaign was abruptly derailed in early 2020, however, when tweets from celebrities reacting to Mr. Peanut’s stunt death began showing up alongside reactions to the actual tragic and real-life death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others when they died suddenly in a helicopter crash.
This year, Planters is taking a different but still bold approach to its latest brand refresh, working with the talented folks at Jones Knowles Ritchie.
No longer a baby nut, Mr. Peanut is back, top hat, cane, and all, with a more flat appearance. The refresh to the mascot’s look isn’t as bold as last year’s, but it also won’t draw comparisons to other popular, babified versions of popular characters.
The wordmark is also updated, tightening the focus and bringing it closer to the viewer. Updated packaging features sumptuous and tempting new photography of nuts and other ingredients, while a darker and deeper blue gets introduced to the brand color palette. Finally, Planters is also highlighting its product as a plant-based source of protein on the packaging and advertising.
“Planters is a true American icon, connecting generations and providing real food satisfaction with substance. The creative idea behind the new brand identity, Substance with Swagger, is all about celebrating the brand’s straight-to-the-nut sensibility, debonair flare, and crave-worthy irresistibility. We’re thrilled to finally share with the world the many sides of our beloved Mr. Peanut,” said JB Hartford, creative director at Jones Knowles Ritchie, in a press release.
The brand refresh provides a subtle visual update while retaining mascot Mr. Peanut’s core characteristics like being sassy while dressed-to-the-nines and reminding consumers that peanuts provide a lot of plant-based protein.