Last week, news broke that Planters’ brand mascot Mr. Peanut had “died.” This stunt was all a part of the company’s upcoming Super Bowl advertising, but in light of Kobe Bryant’s tragic passing, the brand has decided to put a halt on their commercial showing the fictional death and funeral of Mr. Peanut.
In the first teaser of the Planters ad for the big game, Mr. Peanut was riding in a car with actor Matt Walsh and director Wesley Snipes. When the car swerves off of a cliff, the three were hanging on to a tree before Mr. Peanut sacrificed himself and fell into the fiery car wreck.
Sports legend Kobe Bryant died in the flames of a helicopter crash on Sunday alongside eight other passengers. In the wake of this news, Planters is reassessing their Super Bowl marketing campaign.
According to AdAge, the company said in a statement that the news of Kobe’s passing caused them to take another look at their advertising process: “We are saddened by this weekend’s news and Planters has paused all campaign activities, including paid media, and will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy,” a spokesperson for Planters said.
Before this change, Planters was set to have one 30-second commercial spot air before the game in which Mr. Peanut was shown being ejected from the car. Then, during the third quarter, another 30-second slot would show a funeral being held for Mr. Peanut.
As of right now, there is no confirmed information about what Planters will be airing during their commercial slots instead.