Planters colors Mr. Peanut’s World for his 100th birthday

Posted: July 20, 2016 by
Linda Casey

Ringing in the centenarian birthday of Mr. Peanut, Planters has released a limited–edition package that delivers a unique celebration to every brand fan. The limited-edition packaging for Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts transforms the classic jar already strongly associated with the brand into 3 million one-of-a-kind designs. Each plastic jar features a dancing Mr. Peanut amidst festive, eye-catching fireworks in a multitude of colors and designs. And thanks to advanced software and digital technology, no two jars look alike.

Genesis in Collaboration

“As part of The Kraft Heinz Company, we have a very strong, packaging department, and they are always presenting the different brand teams new technologies and different ways that we can incorporate digital printing into our graphics,” Kelsey Guglielmi, senior associate brand manager at The Kraft Heinz Company, remarks. “Once we knew that we really wanted to bring digital printing to the forefront of this campaign, Mike Onderwater, our packaging guru, hooked us up with packaging printer Multi-Color Corporation. We had multiple conversations with Landor, who is our design agency of record, so there was no question at all that we would work with them on the design for this project, knowing how familiar they are with the brand and the affinity for Mr. Peanut and the equities we showcase and carry on our packaging thus far. Landor was also pretty new to this technology, so we learned together how far we could go and how unique we could get.”

Kraft Heinz and Landor worked to create one-of-a-kind designs that would retain the quintessential accessories of Mr. Peanut, who was born when 14-year-old Suffolk, VA, resident Antonio Gentile won a Planters-sponsored sketch contest calling for a new brand icon in 1916. Mr. Peanut’s top hat, cane, monocle, white gloves and spats came later, and the sophisticated legume’s style has delighted brand fans ever since, earning a national fan club of Peanut Pals and a plaque on the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame.

“I’m not sure how familiar you are with some of our loyal fans but they have been collecting Mr. Peanut items for years, whether it’s coin banks or salt shakers or peanut butter grinders,” Guglielmi explains. “Our brand fans get excited about anything with Planters or Mr. Peanut. So, what better way to serve those consumers than to take our most popular product, these dry-roasted peanuts, and give them something that’s really one-of-a-kind?”

From the few, come many

The overall design consists of Mr. Peanut with all his signature accessories, but his left hand is raised in celebration and his hat is adorned with text that announces, “100th birthday.” He dances against a background of fireworks. Variable elements include the color pattern used for the fireworks, and the color of Mr. Peanut himself, which now includes strong departures as teal and purple.

The labels were printed using HP Indigo digital presses on 50-micron polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETg) film. The one-of-a kind labels leveraged six base Mr. Peanut design files, which used two HP SmartStream Mosaic seed files each, ensuring that no two Mr. Peanut jars are identical. These special edition jars are currently being sold at select stores during the Mr. Peanut 100th birthday celebration.

“It’s really been an inspiration with the bright colors and the fireworks background, Guglielmi explains. “You can see those color cues and those elements of the packaging shine through at all our touchpoints throughout the entire campaign.”

More than a package

“The packaging of Mr. Peanut’s 100th birthday jars was a focal point to this campaign, which includes a birthday tour,” she adds. “We have a consumer sweepstakes program, where consumers are able to invite Mr. Peanut to their birthday parties this summer. The idea is, while it’s Mr. Peanut’s 100th birthday, Mr. Peanut is really out there to make your birthday more special and elevate that birthday experience by visiting 100 parties this summer and bringing about $500 worth of birthday gifts.”

The campaign also includes Mr. Peanut Birthday Greetings, which fans can use to help spread birthday cheer and best wishes to friends and family with a personalized birthday e-card read aloud by Mr. Peanut himself, and the Mr. Peanut Birthday Automobile Tour, during which Mr. Peanut and the Peanutters will visit fans from coast to coast to snap and share selfies, give away fun birthday swag and distribute peanut samples. Social media is also being leveraged with a Facebook page (MrPeanut) and on Twitter (@MrPeanut).

Digital customization trending up

Smart use of customization technology to further engage consumers is something the Package Design editorial team is seeing more often—from our coverage of Share-A-Coke, back in 2014, and Coca-Cola Israel’s Extraordinary Diet Coke Collection. Both of which we reported on before their U.S. marketing and branding program counterparts hit our shores. And it’s something that we expect brands to continue to leverage in an effort to not only differentiate on shelf but distinguish themselves from their peers.

This trend has also been noticed by printing and technology providers as they continue to innovate solutions that bring customization technologies that consider the specific distribution and other needs associated with selling consumer packaged goods. “Increased competition, multiple SKUs and consumers with high expectations are causing brands to reassess their product packaging to boost sales,” says Doris Brown-McNally, worldwide strategic business and brand development, HP. “HP Indigo digital printing and HP SmartStream Mosaic technologies enable classic brands, like Planters, to reinvent their traditional packaging to drive maximum impact and create unique brand experiences for customers with minimal risk.”