Planters rang in the 100th birthday of Mr. Peanut today, kicking off a year-long celebration of “the nuttiest brand icon in history.”
“Mr. Peanut’s continued popularity is a testament to America’s love of Planters nuts,” said Sean Marks, VP Marketing at Planters, in a press release. “Mr. Peanut’s 100th birthday will pay homage to his lifetime of nutty achievements by making celebrations even more remarkable for fans this year.”
Fans are invited to join in the birthday activities at Mr. Peanut’s birthday website, MrPeanut100.com, went live in March offering new swag, logos, packaging and custom e-cards, along with visits from the Nutmobile, appearances on TV morning shows and a birthday contest.
- One-of-a-kind birthday jars: This May, Peanut brings his 100th birthday celebration to shelves by transforming his classic Dry Roasted Peanuts jar into three million one-of-a-kind designs. This limited edition packaging features a dancing Mr. Peanut amidst festive, eye-catching fireworks in a multitude of colors and designs. No two jars look alike!
- Planters 100th birthday sweepstakes: Now through September 15, fans can enter for a chance to win an in-person or virtual celebration with Peanut and his 27-foot NUTmobile, the smoothest peanut on wheels, at an upcoming birthday party for themselves, a friend or family member.
- Peanut birthday greetings: Fans can also help spread birthday cheer and best wishes to friends and family with a personalized birthday e-card read aloud by Mr. Peanut himself!
- Peanut birthday NUTmobile tour: Mr. Peanut and the Peanutters will visit fans from coast to coast to snap and share SHELL-fies, give away fun birthday swag and distribute delicious peanut samples.
Planters Peanut Co. was founded in 1906, but it was 10 years later when a schoolboy Antonio Gentile, submitted drawings of an anthropomorphic peanut in response to a call for a new brand icon. A brand ad agency later added Mr. Peanut’s top hat, cane, monocle, white gloves and spats to add sophistication to the look.
By the mid-1930s, Mr. Peanut came to represent the whole peanut industry—a rare branding accomplishment. In fact, in 2006, Planters organized an online contest to test the waters on changing the image—perhaps adding a pocket-watch, bowtie or cufflinks—but the response was a resounding no.
The beloved peanut remained mute until November 2010 when Planters hired Robert Downey Jr. to give him a voice.
At the top of Mr. Peanuts food chain is The Kraft Heinz Co., the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company worldwide with eight $1 billion+ brands.
Mr. Peanut’s branding may well be here for another 100 years as this one found his perfect shell.