The Abomination of Baby Nut: a Closer Examination on Corporate Babies
Let’s be real, Baby Yoda is not that bad. I mean, he is a flawed child. Yes, he is an overused meme. Yes, The Mandolorian came out months ago. Yes, he is on every social media site. Yes, he will never not be on every social media. Yes, you can’t escape him (I’ve tried).
But at least he’s not Baby Nut.
Baby Nut is the newest edition to the corporate babies marketing scheme. As part of their Super Bowl commercial, Planters killed off their previous mascot, Mr. Peanut, to make room for Baby Nut. At the time of Mr. Peanut’s death, the hashtag #RIPeanut was trending on Twitter. In a time of the Impeachment Trial against Donald Trump and most of Australia literally being on fire, it seemed like a miracle for the marketing team to get their hashtag trending.
Someone needed to replace Mr. Peanut.
They chose a baby.
I’m sorry, but I’m genuinely concerned about how that pitch went.
“Hey you know how we have a hundred and four year old beloved mascot?”
“And you know everyone loves Baby Yoda right now?”
“What if, we kill off our mascot and replace him with a baby peanut.”
“Genius! And what shall we call this new mascot? Peanut Jr.?
Then they proceeded to spend 5.6 million dollars for a thirty second ad during the Super Bowl and completely rebrand their entire company for this new mascot.
Except, Baby Nut and Mr. Peanut are the same person.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Peanut was reborn at his own funeral through the power of Kool Aid Man’s tears. I cannot make this up. They killed off Mr. Peanut, brought him back to life, then tried to make the hashtags #ANutIsBorn and #MagicTears trend on Twitter through the Kool Aid twitter account.
Did this work?
Was it worth killing Mr. Peanut, only to revive him as a baby to relate to “im baby” jokes on Twitter?
Neither hashtag ever got to the popularity of #RIPeanut. Kraft Heinz’s stocks had a spike in profit the day after the Super Bowl when the market opened, but it was a small spike. Kraft Heinz is the company that owns both Planters and Kool Aid. You heard that right. The ketchup company owns the peanut and juice companies. Overall, that market trend doesn’t change that significantly after the introduction of Baby Nut or Kool Aid Man’s magic tears. There was mild success that can be expected after having an ad during the Super Bowl, but nothing dramatic.
I know what you might be thinking. Who cares if a marketing scheme using a baby meme failed?
I care. Because I’m getting paid to write this article.
I believe the bigger picture here is the commodity of “the baby” and why Baby Yoda became a meme, but Baby Nut didn’t.
One can attribute it to the fact that Baby Nut was an obvious marketing scheme. Planters is not invested in Baby Nut as a full fledged mascot. His account is somewhat active on Twitter, but it’s all jokes about baby things. Tweets like “Really want my pacifier right now but getting out of my crib is gonna be a whole thing.” and “Phew, what a long day at the office.* *nursery” were both posted on February 11 and do absolutely nothing to sell products.
Circling back to Baby Yoda, it begs the question: Can employing the baby schema turn a profit? It worked for Disney; the Funko Pop toy version of Baby Yoda became the number one best-selling toy on Amazon.
Perhaps Baby Nut did accomplish something. There are numerous articles about him, including this one. A full time student with two jobs took time out of her schedule to write about a company’s weird attempt at connecting to the youth by turning their hundred and four year old mascot into a baby. I’m supposed to be applying for internships. Why do I care?
I’m not sure. But that’s not the point. The point is that despite there being little financial gain, Baby Nut achieved some buzz. Hating Baby Nut is still engaging with Baby Nut. Bad press is still good, if not better, publicity. Hopping on the Baby Train wasn’t a bad idea, even if it was short lived.
I wanna end this article by promoting the best baby out there. Baby Yoda, Baby Nut… they’re all clowns. The best baby will always be Jabba the Hutt’s son, Rotta (also known as Stinky) from the 2008 masterpiece, Star Wars the Clone. It’s on Disney +.