Planters “Holiday Party”

He speaks! Yes, if you haven’t already heard, the 94-year-old monocle-and-top-hat-wearing Mr. Peanut is sporting a new look and a star’s voice. After nearly a century selling Planters peanuts as a silent cartoon character, the icon has been revamped with stylish stop-motion and the voice of actor Robert Downey Jr. The first spot in a new campaign from TBWA unit Being takes viewers to the Planters holiday party, where Mr. Peanut talks about what makes a successful holiday celebration. Trailed by a short, round, bow-tie-wearing peanut, apparently his butler, Mr. Peanut explains that all it takes are “classy snacks” and “to be a gracious host, no matter who shows up.” The exception to his rule we learn is Richard the nutcracker, who seems to have been the source of a crack on the back of Mr. Peanut’s head. Despite an attempted apology, Mr. Peanut rams his cane down his throat. There is no forgiving and forgetting for Mr. Peanut. Remakes of long-running brand icons hardly ever work, but this one, so far, manages to give the character a droll personality that thanks to his violent edge, sense of humor and new visual flavor, feels fresh and a little salty. Just like a peanut should be.–Eleftheria Parpis