The Planters peanut company has put its death of Mr. Peanut ad campaign on hold as the nation reacts to the shocking helicopter crash that took the life of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and eight others.
Planters spokesman Jeremy Mullman said that they have put the campaign on hold for “evaluation” as details about Sunday’s crash in Calabasas, California, continue to emerge.
“We are saddened by this weekend’s news and Planters has paused all campaign activities, including paid media,” Mullman wrote in an email reported by USA Today. “(We) will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy.”
Mullman added that the company is not yet prepared to cancel its ad that is scheduled to run during Super Bowl LIV on February 2.
The initial ad that showed the “death” of the company’s 104-year-old Mr. Peanut mascot featuring actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh premiered on January 22.
The ad shows the actors and the Peanut being involved in a car accident, after which Mr. Peanut sacrifices himself to save the lives of the two actors.
— The Estate of Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) January 22, 2020
The fictional death is to be followed by a “funeral” phase of the death of Mr. Peanut during the upcoming Super Bowl.
Planters is far from the only company to put a pause on advertising in the wake of the helicopter accident that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others. According to Ad Age magazine, Procter & Gamble’s Olay, Pop-Tarts, and Avocados from Mexico all joined Planters by putting a hold on the scheduled Monday release of their Super Bowl ads.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.