Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Everyone hates the baby nut (except for other brands)

Illustration for article titled Everyone hates the baby nut (except for other brands)
Screenshot: Planters (YouTube)

When Mr. Peanut died a couple of weeks ago, we were all able to breathe a brief sigh of relief. The terrible mascot has lorded his wealth over us all for decades, strutting around in an ostentatious top hat and monocle, assured that his financial empire would endure any number of the recessions that cause regular people to suffer so dearly. The mild catharsis of watching the bourgeoisie nut die, though, was only temporary. We knew that Planters would not allow their piece of shit mascot to fade away entirely. We knew that something would happen soon enough. And so, during last night’s Superbowl commercials, the world watched in tired defeat as new Planters spokesperson “Baby Nut” was born.

Baby Nut obviously sucks ass. His social media is filled with grating, focus-tested “cuteness” and obligatory meme references.

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And his poor managers have also tried to somehow position him as somehow superior to the babified versions of characters the internet has loved recently—like the small Yoda. This, on top of everything else that characterizes the horrible nut, has provoked an immediate and impassioned response, the gist of which is that Baby Nut is garbage.

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If nothing else, though, other online brands have stood in solidarity with their own. Kool Aid and Mr. Clean, both of which appeared in the commercial already, are obviously on board with Planters’ ad campaign.

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But every other company has taken the start of a new insufferable online marketing campaign as the signal to chime in through their own unique “voices.” Some of these, like fellow food brands, seem inevitable ...

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... but others, drawn from totally unrelated industries, could have been avoided if only brand Twitter could have been stopped in its infancy.

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This is what Baby Nut was created to do. He is a vile homunculus of concentrated capital meant to foster engagement, even if it comes primarily from other desperate online brands. The alternative—that people just want to explain exactly how much they hate the nut—is fine by them, too. Baby Peanut will take whatever attention he can get, even if that attention carries connotations that, as Brandy Jensen pointed out, are vile on a level as yet unexplored by the brands.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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