Imagine spending the next 90 years in the same outfit. Go ahead, laugh — but it’s a plight very real for Planters’ Peanuts’ longtime not-so verbose spokesman, Mr. Peanut.
After decades of patience, one of pop culture’s most endearing nutjobs is getting a new looks and a very famous voice, The New York Times said Sunday.
Kraft Foods (which owns Planters) has commissioned Hollywood bad boy-turned-comeback kid Robert Downey Jr. to lend his voice to a series of commercial promos featuring the new and improved (You can be the judge of that) Mr. P. Gone is the yellow shell that has been the spokes character’s calling card since his introduction in 1916. Planters has given the bespectacled Mr. Peanut a makeover that includes a crisp tan, a gray flannel suit, and a sidekick named Benson.
It’s all a part of a campaign that is reportedly costing Kraft a whopping $30-$35 million.
The first Planters ad spot starring Downey Jr. is set to premiere on the character’s Facebook page this Tuesday, Nov. 9, before moving to the small screen and movie previews in the coming weeks.
“The commercial takes place in Mr. Peanut’s house, located under a peanut vine, and depicts the character’s holiday party, where the guests include nature’s creatures like a mole, a turtle, a butterfly and a grasshopper…”
Mr. Peanut is one in a series of popular animated characters who have been given updates in the wake of the technology age. Strawberry Shortcake and Dora the Explorer were both revamped by their creators in the past year.