Like Tony Stark, Mr. Peanut was a titan of industry who selflessly gave up his own life in order to save the ones he loved. The comparison is pretty apt since Planters was inspired to kill off its famous mascot after seeing Iron Man sacrifice himself to defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.
"We started talking about how the internet treats when someone dies — specifically, we were thinking about fictional characters, [like when] Iron Man died," Mike Pierantozzi, Group Creative Director at VaynerMedia, told MSN. The publicity agency is handling Planters' Big Game promotion. "When Iron Man died, we saw an incredible reaction on Twitter and on social media. It's such a strange phenomenon."
Things get even more uncanny when you consider that Robert Downey Jr. played both Iron Man and Mr. Peanut throughout his acting career so far. Come to think of it, we've never seen the two of them together in the same room at the same time. Coincidence? ... We think NUT!
According to Pierantozzi the plan to whack Mr. Peanut came about last summer and was meant to show that the monocle and top hat-wearing mascot "always puts others first." Naturally, the ad couldn't be too macabre or it would risk alienating audiences.
"You have to strike the perfect tone on this, or you really could end up with a problem," added the Group Creative Director. "So we definitely considered that. We're very happy with the response we're getting. We feel like we nailed the tone."
When Mr. Peanut died last week during a pre-Super Bowl commercial starring Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh, Twitter totally lost its mind with conspiracy theories, eulogies, and memories (many of them fictionally hilarious aspersions on his character) about the iconic legume. He was 104.
Yesterday, it was reported that Planters was placing the campaign on pause as a sign of respect for the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash over the weekend. At this time, it is unclear whether the company still plans to air its full Super Bowl ad, which is said to focus on Mr. Peanut's funeral.