Friday, 3 February 2012

Beyond Endurance with Mr. Peanut

In our most recent commentary on the illustrious career of Mr. Peanut there was a facetious remark about his presidential ambitions. I have since been reminded that there was a precedence for this in 1976 when a former peanut farmer, Mr. Jimmy Carter was elected to the highest office. He may well have been the last occupant of the White House to be in possession of a fully developed conscience – no surprise that he turned out to be a one-term president. Meanwhile, Mr. P crossed the Atlantic around 1979-80 (about the same time that Jimmy Carter was losing the election to Ronald Reagan) and attempted to reposition himself as an arch-sophisticate with the slogan Temptation Beyond Endurance. These examples come from the resulting campaign of magazine advertising in which artful illustration was deployed to transcend the humble nature of the product. Standard Foods employed the agency Cherry Hedger & Seymour Ltd. who produced the examples we see here. The ligne-claire homage (above and immediately below) to Magritte was the work of Jeffery Edwards and the Old Mastery image of a divine hand picking up a truckload of Planters Nuts (it could just as readily read in reverse as if God was lowering the precious cargo to the ground) was painted in oils by Warren Madill. There’s a Degas pastiche and a copywriter’s infernal fantasy that wraps up the temptation theme. This was a brief interlude and recent promotion of Planters products in the UK has been relatively conventional. Mr. P is now in the custody of Trigon Snacks where he finds himself in the unlikely company of Big D babes whose dubious charms are revealed as punters buy up the packs of peanuts that conceal her scantily clad image.


paloma said...

Dear Phil---I was delighted to see my two favorite ad posters published here. We saw these in the Tube while on a London visit in Dec. of 1979. After we returned to Chicago, I nagged my husband to contact London to see if there was a way to obtain the two Temptation posters. We had them framed and in my husband's graphic design company for many years. Sadly, they were injured in our last move.
There was another poster at that time which was gorgeous, one in red, white, and green, which featured different kinds of sausage and salamis, very beautifully illustrated. Sadly, I can no longer remember the company's name, but I would surely love to see this one again. How did you get your poster images?

Phil Beard said...

Many thanks for your appreciation. I got my posters by making an obsequious request to the manufacturers and happily they obliged. Sorry I can't help with identifying the other poster.