Today’s the day

Published 10:59 pm Friday, January 31, 2020

Super Bowl Sunday has arrived, and even people who don’t particularly care about the outcome of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will be watching the game for an entirely different reason.

For a week and a half, people around the world and particularly here in his birthplace of Suffolk have been anxiously awaiting more news on the fate of Mr. Peanut.

Planters shocked the world last Wednesday by announcing that Mr. Peanut had died in a tragic accident. They released a pre-Super Bowl commercial that shows Mr. Peanut wrecking the Nutmobile, which then explodes and sends his iconic top hat flying.

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Planters has announced that an additional commercial during the big game’s third quarter will show the funeral of the 104-year-old marketing icon.

As can be expected with pretty much any unorthodox publicity ploy, different people reacted differently. Some found it a time for hilarious puns, some were confused, and some people — including many here in Suffolk — were genuinely upset that Planters would seemingly kill off its beloved mascot.

Various theories have been advanced about the end game of this marketing scheme. Chief among them seems to be some version of Mr. Peanut emerging from the wreckage as a roasted peanut, heralding the arrival of a new recipe of roasted peanuts in the classic blue Planters tins — with the Mr. Peanut mascot emblazoned on the label as proudly as ever.

After the death of former NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people in a helicopter crash last Sunday, Planters halted some of its online promotions of the pre-game commercial out of sensitivity. Perhaps, the company rightly assumed, showing a fictional fiery crash on social media so soon after a real-life one claimed nine souls was an insensitive thing to do.

The company has confirmed the originally planned Super Bowl commercial will still run, but maybe Planters advertisers learned a valuable lesson — if it’s not funny after a real-life tragedy, maybe it really wasn’t that humorous in the first place.

Regardless, we wait to see what the end game is for Mr. Peanut during the big game tonight. We hope for a miraculous recovery for our dapper nut from Suffolk and look forward to him being around for another 104 years.