Brand: Planters Nut Lovers Mix (Kraft Foods)
Link: Click Here
Target: Nut Lovers
A dapper, animated Mr. Peanut rushes out of a cab at the bottom of the Empire State Building in Manhattan and up to the observation deck as dramatic orchestral music urges him on. He looks right and left coming out of the elevator, wanders around, almost giving us his search in desperation and finally sees what he is looking for – the winsome pistachio. He sweeps her into his arms as the voiceover says, “For those who love pistachios, new Planters Pistachio mix is made just for you.” The spot shifts to a package shot with the tagline spoken and superimposed “50% pistachios, 100% love.” The last shot shows the rest of the ‘Lovers Mix’ line extensions including Cashew, Macadamia and Pecan.
Kraft and FCB New York do a nice job of creating a dramatic and memorable setup for the Planters Lovers Mix line extension. The Sleepless in Seattle parody is a nice metaphor for the Lover’s Mix as peanut meets pistachio. Full animation is a good choice here as it gives New York a vintage art-deco feeling that fits with Mr. Peanut’s monacle and top hat. The soundtrack does a good job of setting this spot apart from conventional animation. Because Mr. Peanut is in virtually every frame of this spot as the brand icon, the branding in this spot is excellent. The execution is ownable as it is impossible to imagine a rival nut manufacturer (like Emerald, for instance) running this spot.
This spot raises the ongoing question of the effect of line extensions on core brands. From our perspective, while Planters may be a reasonable brand to guest host other nuts, advertising the mixes dilutes the core brand equity for Planters. Why? Culturally, there is an ingrained prejudice in the US to think of peanuts as ‘cheap nuts’ versus the more exotic, expensive and desirable nuts like Cashew, Pistachio and Macadamia. So while mixing peanuts with these premium nuts might increase the value and appeal of the peanut, it also reminds this advertising blog that peanuts are lowest-common-denominator nuts. This might not be a problem on shelf where we’re conditioned to look for the product mix we want. But as television advertising this comes off as an Arthur Miller/Marilyn Monroe marriage which tends to remind us that the peanut is just a working-class guy next to the glamorous pistachio. So although the execution on this spot is good we feel it is a mistake for the brand equity of the base Planters brand to be reminding us that we’d really rather splurge on Cashews or Macadamia nuts.
Branding Bottom Line:
Planters makes Mr. Peanut look frumpy next to Ms. Pistachio