Ad of the Day: Craving Mr. Peanut? Planters’ Animated Mascot Returns, With an Attitude

One tough nut

Planters' iconic mascot is getting to be a real nut-buster these days.

Slap on your monocle and watch how Mr. Peanut taunts his nemesis, Richard the Nutcracker, in the new ad below, sealing the dude in a glass chamber and tempting him with snacks to test Planters' "craveability." 

That's one sadistic nut!

Developed by Leo Burnett, the "Irresistibly Planters" campaign rolls out on TV early next week. It focuses on taste after years of Planters ads spotlighting the nutritional attributes of peanuts. That shift "has the potential to win with our consumers when they're looking for a quick salty fix they can feel good about," Camille Vareille, head of brand building at Planters parent Kraft Heinz, tells Adweek.

She dismisses suggestions that Mr. Peanut has morphed into a hard case. "He's trying to protect the Planters nuts from his friends who have an irresistible craving," she says. "We like to think he does so with the utmost class and a witty personality."

In the next spot, the loquacious legume serves up a cheeky take on employee relations:

Yo, P., maybe squirrels aren't the best workforce for a nut factory.

Commercials break on Monday, with social and digital elements dropping next month.

It took a 40-person stop-motion team from production firm House Special some 10,000 hours over two months to create and shoot the campaign. All told, the complex series of shoots involved seven finely detailed puppet characters and six fully-dressed sets. (Keep your paws off the merchandise, chipmunk!)

Here's some behind-the-scenes footage:


Client – Planters

Agency – Leo Burnett Chicago

Chief Creative Officer – Britt Nolan

EVP Executive Creative Director – Dave Loew

EVP Executive Creative Director – Jon Wyville

VP Creative Director – Chris von Ende

VP Creative Director – Mike Ward

Associate Creative Director – Kent Carmichael

Associate Creative Director – Ryan Stotts

Senior Producer – Rod Wilson

Production Manager – Anne Carbo

Talent Manager – Robyn Schwartz

Operational Account Supervisor – Toni Duttweiler

SVP Account Director – Kristina Lenz

VP Account Director – Jennifer Kasmarick

Account Supervisor – Abby Allsop

Senior Account Executive – Sarah Wickman

Assistant Account Executive – Blair Cooley

SVP Strategy Director – Pushpa Gopalan

Strategist – Chase Donahue

Production Company – House Special

Audio Production – Another Country

Sound Engineer – Peter Erazmus

Director – Mark Gustafson

Art Director – Gee Staughton

Editor – Cam Williams

Flame Artist – Rex Carter

Senior Producer for House Special – Rebecca Bowen

Media – Starcom 

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.