Death of a Salesman

Photo credit: Tomas Fano

There’s yet more news about the upcoming death of Mr. Peanut. The Planters folks, apparently in an effort to top last year’s Super Bowl ad, looked at how other fictional characters are mourned. They liken Mr. Peanut’s death to Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame, since the leggy legume will also sacrifice himself for others. Iron’s Man’s demise was met with an outpouring of social media activity and the Planters team encourages fans to “tune in to Mr. Peanut’s funeral during the third quarter of the Super Bowl to celebrate his life.”

I like Planters as much as the next person but I’m having trouble imaging myself emoting over the peanut mascot. I will admit I was a little bummed about Iron Man in Endgame; he was, after all, my favorite character in the Avenger universe. But certainly not enough to go to an Avenger funeral or send any sympathy cards. I can only hope that Mr. Peanut’s death brings as much social clamor as the company wishes for.

Personally I’d prefer to keep Mr. Peanut and dump Limo Emu.

Do you have a favorite mascot? Least favorite?

77 thoughts on “Death of a Salesman”

  1. You lost me after Mr. Peanut, but if the Planter’s people imagine that the public has any sort of emotional connection to their strange anachronism of a mascot, I hope they’re deluded. If they’re right, I despair for the culture.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t heard anything about this. And I don’t get it. It’s gotta be a ploy. He comes back after a daring rescue / resuscitation by the pistachio elephant.

    The scary giant headed Burger King guy- he had to go.

    We did a play once where a guy wore a peanut costume. I don’t remember the context anymore and it probably violated some copyright laws so don’t tell. But our guy could ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time so …. there.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. A friend of mine reviewed the Joker thusly: “”JOKER” was also near perfection…nothing mediocre in this production…Joaquin Phoenix could not have been better. Sad and gruesome at times. Ooh, I LOVE this movie.” From your comment I can’t quite tell whether or not you like the movie, tim?

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  3. I second the motion to ax Limu Emu and his idiot partner too.

    As an alum, I’ve always been partial to Goldy Gopher. If you watch him/her/it for a while, you see how much energy, craft, humor, and wit go into portraying a voiceless character whose sole purpose is to fire up a crowd through entertainment.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

      1. As I recall, Crunch the Timberwolves’ mascot found himself in a similar predicament many years ago. It all depends on who inhabits that furry costume at any given time how well behaved the critter is.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well said, PJ. It must be tricky being a team mascot. You can’t speak, and your antics might go unnoticed unless you push the envelope from time to time, doing controversial things like standup comedians who get applauded for dancing on the edge of acceptable speech but occasionally get rebuked for indecency.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. To be honest, when Steve mentioned a day or two ago that Mr. Peanut was nearing his demise, my first thought was: “Does anyone care?” And, this morning I hesitate to admit that I have no idea who Limu Emu is. Guess there’s no surer sign that I’m not properly acculturated to American commerce.

    The only advertising icon that I can think of that I find remotely amusing and likeable is the Geico gecko. The Pillsbury Dough Boy seems silly and spooky to me, and Charlie the Tuna, meh.

    I recognize that branding is important, never more so than with DT in the White House, but frankly, I think we’d be better off if we paid more attention to the details of the crap they’re trying to sell us.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think the Geico camel is pretty funny. I don’t know his name but I think the commercial in which he’s walking around the office talking about it being hump day is hysterical.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    My primary attachment to mascots, logos or icons, is the visual cue it gives me in finding products, either on-line, in a store, or any other sales venue (I.e. state fair, garage sales, etc). I don’t understand much emotional attachment to them, unless one is in Steve’s circumstances in which the mascot is a family member of sorts.

    When I see Mr. Peanut, all I can think of is the Mary Tyler Moore show episode in which Chuckles the Clown was killed by an hungry, aggressive elephant who wanted peanuts that were part of the costume (or something like that). Then Mary gets the giggles at the funeral.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Back when I was in advertising, we were given the task of developing advertising for some brand of sanitary pad, which had roughly the shape of a peanut. I suggested a top hat and cane.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. As a U of MN alum, my favorite mascot has always been Goldy Gopher. And as a Lynx season ticket holder, I enjoy the antics of Prowl. The Limu Emu commercials are just plain annoying and deserve to go away. As a kid, I liked the Jolly Green Giant.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Why does advertising like to associate toilet paper with bears? Is it an allusion to the rhetorical question of what bears do in the woods? The problems bears have with toilet paper are not problems I recognize. Does toilet paper even need to be advertised?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh Bill. All of these years I’ve been irritated by those commercials and I never even thought about what Bears do the woods as a connection. Brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s the thing that may be irritating you: embedded in most ads is the assumption companies and their agencies make about their customers. For some reason, the toilet paper ads seem to be addressing an infantile audience.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And then there’s our squatter next door who doesn’t exactly live in the woods, yet doesn’t have a roof over his head. Two days ago he deposited a large plastic bag full of human excrement in front of our garage door. I kid you not! He hates husband, and will go out of his way to irritate him. Husband hates him in equal measure, and returned the bag to the hood of one of Tommy’s junk cars. (I didn’t ask, but I hope he wore rubber gloves.) I don’t know if this is a case of “boys will be boys,” but I want no part of it. SMH.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. My college mascot is an ear of corn. Our high school mascot is a midget. A representative from the Little People of America came to town last month to chide and educate the community and the school board about the hurtfullness of the mascot. The last time the school board tried to change the mascot they were all recalled , and pro-midgets voted in. A community survey last week indicated that the majority want to remain midgets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! Just amazes me how entrenched some ideas are. Some people also have a difficult time accepting that people of color are not inferior to whites.

      On a similar note, just read a story about a kid in Texas who has been told that if he wants to participate in his high school’s graduation ceremony, he must cut off his dreadlocks. They are in violation of the school’s dress code. Rolling my eyes a lot lately.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Rochester has the Ear of Corn water tower. It’s a landmark. Maybe. It was part of the Libbys plant, which became Seneca. They closed last year and the city wants it for parking. Destiny of the water tower is still being discussed. The city does not have a habit of saving “old things” or even ‘Landmarks’… but I think the citizens would revolt if they tore it down. It might be moved.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m very close to where the old Boulevard Theater was on Lyndale. Toward the end of the theater’s life it had very poor attendance and of course that meant the owner didn’t have funds to reinvest in the business. It got seedier and seedier. Fewer and fewer people even less money for reinvesting in the business. Downhill spiral. But when he went to sell the theater, people in the neighborhood went crazy. There were demonstrations outside the theater and once I drove by and there was a demonstration and I saw a guy in a big black robe with a scythe— the specter of death. Just ridiculous. The compromise was to keep the theater marquee which is still there to this day, 20 years later. It’s so silly. People just need to get over themselves.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. the edina theater is going through a similar spiral. good movies there and the lagoon but the starts and condition are terrible . if there are 10 people there for any movie i go to it’s a big night. i hope they survive

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  10. chung king had a dragon that would come in and yell stuff at the father and son to get them to eat chinese food back in the 60’s
    i laughed til i cried
    those from the twin cities may remember dave moore’s seally postropedic commercials on the bed time newz 1965ish those were the best

    i think we should stop sending mike pence out as the usa mascot
    he doesn’t look like he enjoys it and the head they make him wear looks so stupid

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I worked at Pillsbury corporate headquarters for many years and was never that fond of the Doughboy. Although I did wear the Doughboy costume and L’il Sprout costumes for various events. For the Doughboy, you had to have a handler with you so people wouldn’t poke you too hard, and it was difficult to see and walk around in it as it was inflatable.

    The Little Sprout costume was much more fun as you had more movement available to you for interactions or acting out stuff. But you couldn’t talk in either one — it was forbidden.

    But lots of people loved the Doughboy and Sprout.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. In the 60s, Johnny Carson Show had Hawaiian Punch as a sponsor – first there was a jingle “Scooby-dooby doo, fruit juicy, fruit juicy, Hawaiian Punch. Then a little cartoon guy wearing a lei came on and yelled “How ’bout a nice Hawaiian Punch??!!” then POW! He’s my favorite.

    My least favorite was the old guy in a blue shirt in the Menards ads… I won’t write down the jingle because then I/we won’t get it out of our heads for a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear friends,

    Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

    Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

    Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much dough on half baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive role model for millions.

    Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 350 for about 20 minutes.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Husband is having cataract surgery next month, and he just got some prescribed pre-surgery eye drops from a company called Designer Drugs. That is a pretty clever name. I haven’t seen if they have a mascot.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. For some obscure reason they are doing my best eye first. It has something to do with a retina problem in the worst eye. They are recommending a separate surgery for the retina issue. I’m opting to do the cataracts first, and may not consent to the retina surgery. We’ll have to see how this works out.

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