Nut-and-snack company Planters, part of Kraft Heinz, has hit the pause button on its campaign leading up to the Super Bowl this Sunday. It included a teaser spot last week depicting the death of its longtime mascot Mr. Peanut.
The change is in reaction to the tragic loss Sunday of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California.
Here’s the company’s statement:
“We wanted you to know that we are saddened by this weekend’s news, and Planters has paused campaign activities, including paid media, and will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy. At this point, the pause impacts only paid advertising (on channels like Twitter and YouTube), and some other outreach in the immediate wake of this tragedy. No change has been made to our plans for Super Bowl Sunday.”
Those plans include an in-game spot depicting Mr. Peanut’s so-called funeral. As of late Monday afternoon, a company rep confirmed it still intends to air the funeral spot as planned.
We’ll see if those plans hold. I hope not.
I mean we are talking about the tragic loss of a national sports legend, his young daughter and seven others. Airing a mock funeral of an animated commercial mascot on the sports world’s biggest stage in the aftermath of such a tragedy doesn’t seem terribly sensitive to me.