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:

CREDITS
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