If you live in the USA, and if you watch any sort of Prime Time television, you have certainly seen the new, and eerily creepy, Mr. Peanut animated Puppet Theatre commercial that I call, “Mr. Peanut Gets Cracked.”
I use “eerily creepy” as a compliment because the commercial is incredibly engrossing as Mr. Peanut hosts a holiday party and a Crazy Nutcracker arrives unannounced.
It is then revealed to us that Mr. Peanut’s head is cracked — munched by none other than the Crazy Nutcracker himself! — and it becomes quite clear the Nutcracker has surreptitiously crashed the party for another bite at the irresistible nut! What gnaw!
Here is the creepy Mr. Peanut television commercial in its entirety for your viewing pleasure:
The ending of the commercial is as strange as its start: A rat/bird asks a mounted squirrel on a wall if he “likes nuts.” What a nut job of a commercial!
I love the entire experience because the telling is quick, dramatic and an anti-commercial — you can’t anticipate the where or the why of the story arc, yet you completely enjoy the journey in full.
You want to willingly watch the commercial a multiplicity of times to catch all the little funny touches you missed the first time around — and that’s a Big Score for any advertising campaign.
I am surprised that such an interesting and irrepressible mainstream commercial like — Mr. Peanut Gets Cracked — ever made it to air, because that sort of storytelling takes some patience and intelligence to unwind in the audience’s mind.
I have great admiration for Planter’s Peanuts, and their advertising derring-do, and I certainly hope they will continue to push the envelope of what makes for good and effective advertising in the realm of a day when there are few exciting commercial appeals flying across daft airwaves.