Opinion: Baby Nut is a Cultural Disgrace

Liam Rogers

On January 22nd, 2020, the world was hit with a terrible loss: Planters’s own mascot, Mr. Peanut, was killed at age 104. In a heroic act, the anthropomorphic peanut met his fate while saving two of his friends, Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh. Not being a controversial character nor an outdated company mascot, it was clear to the world that killing Mr. Peanut was purely for the marketing of the Planters company. His death was a shock to many, as no one was aware that a company mascot could…well, die. Around Twitter, the hashtag #RIPeanut became trending as companies and celebrities alike began to offer their condolences to Mr. Peanut.

Personally, I thought this was a genius move; when was the last time anyone had ever thought about Mr. Peanut? The brief 30-second advertisement detailing his death has been viewed over 7 million times on YouTube and has even caught the attention of major news outlets such as CNN and Fox News. Though merely a marketing tactic, the death of the beloved Mr. Peanut quickly became a cultural phenomenon that no one could stop talking about. As the murmur and gossip surrounding the peanut man’s death finally became to calm down, however, a new advertisement was shown during Super Bowl LIV.

The video starts at the somber funeral of Mr. Peanut. His closest friends and family are in attendance, including Mr. Clean and the Kool-Aid Man. When the Kool-Aid Man sheds a tear onto Mr. Peanut’s grave, a new being sprouts from the dirt: a hellish entity officially dubbed “Baby Nut”. With the same iconic top hat as him, Baby Nut is most accurately described as Mr. Peanut in baby form, complete with short legs and big eyes. It is apparent to the viewer that Mr. Peanut’s death was only a buildup to this unwanted reveal—a reveal so important to Planters that they booked it on the slot of the iconic Super Bowl commercials.

Baby Nut’s existence is unnecessary, unoriginal, and ultimately disgraceful. Firstly, as the death of the Planters mascot had already reached such critical reception with audiences, there was no need for the company to further this particular marketing stunt. As previously stated, the death of Mr. Peanut has reached over 7 million views on YouTube, while the Baby Nut commercial has yet to surpass 500,000. There was simply no need for the introduction of such a vile creature, especially not during the Super Bowl. Secondly, the character is unoriginal; Baby Nut is an obvious rip-off of Baby Yoda, the unofficial name of the character in Disney’s original show The Mandalorian. Though not actually named Baby Yoda, the character is the same species as the Jedi master in a much younger form (about 50 years). Baby Yoda—as he will henceforth be called due to lack of an official name—became the subject of a cultural frenzy from both Star Wars fans and lovers of all things cute. Baby Yoda’s influence on the media has conclusively reigned more dominant than either the death of Mr. Peanut and the birth of his devillike successor, Baby Nut. It can easily be deduced, in his name alone, that Baby Nut is a failed attempt at capturing the same attention and love as Baby Yoda.

When all is said and done, however, Baby Nut is a disgrace to the Planters company, and more importantly, Mr. Peanut. Let me remind you, dear reader, that Mr. Peanut died at the age of 104. He had been the featured mascot found on every single Planters advertisement or package of peanuts for over a century. He had seen the company through thick and thin, through two World Wars, and for what? To be slaughtered solely for the unsuccessful debut of Baby Nut? To kill their own mascot in a futile attempt to raise sales at the hands of a treasonous newcomer compromises the integrity of the Planters company to a degree never seen before in modern capitalism. If they treat their mascot of 104 years like this, how can we trust them to deliver quality nut-based products to our gas stations and grocery stores? Greed and treachery has led to the death of the iconic Mr. Peanut, and the usurpation of Baby Nut. I urge you, dear reader, to buy your nuts and other nut-based products from another brand, because Baby Nut is CANCELED.