A shellebration turns salty: Why #BlockMrPeanut is trending

An unexpected reaction came after Baby Nut became Peanut Jr.

Image provided by ICF Next on behalf of Planters.

It started as Planters merely trying to “shellebrate” Baby Nut’s 21st birthday, and it ended with #BlockMrPeanut trending on Twitter.

In the blink of an eye on Tuesday, Baby Nut blossomed into Peanut Jr. Along with introducing the more-grown-up legume, Planters launched a campaign to give fans who had or will have a birthday in quarantine $2,100 in cash delivered to their doorstep by the iconic NUTmobile. To enter, consumers must share their dream birthday gift in 10 words or less on Twitter and include #MakeMyBirthdayNuts #Sweepstakes.

But instead of going nutty over the campaign, the public quickly started roasting Peanut Jr. The seemingly tongue-in-cheek cancellation of the mascot started when YouTuber Mr. Sunday Movies tweeted Tuesday morning, “I have to go to bed but I would love to wake to a world where #BlockMrPeanut is trending. He thinks he can just push himself to the front of public consciousness though cute forced vitality. Not the year for it. I won't have it.”

The tweet went viral and other people started posting screenshots proving they had blocked the @MrPeanut account.

Some brands even cracked some jokes at the nut’s expense.

This was likely not the reaction Mr. Peanut’s campaign team was expecting. 

The brand hasn’t had the best luck this year. In January, Planters killed off Mr. Peanut and less than a week later the news broke that NBA legend Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash. This led the brand to cancel a number of planned PR activations. Then, Mr. Peanut was brought back from the dead as Baby Nut for its Super Bowl LIV ad. But soon after, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

A Planters representative was not immediately available for comment.