Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mr. Peanut’s Last Stand

Today’s visual aid comes from the Cabinet of Commercial Curiosities. Regular readers may recall our monocled friend, Mr. Peanut, dapper brand character in the service of Planter’s portfolio of peanut products from butter to brittle. Mr. P has lent his likeness to this feeble hand-cranked device for the manufacture of home-made peanut butter. Sadly it would need to be a lot more robust to offer any chance of successfully grinding peanuts into paste. Nevertheless it played its part in the long campaign to convince the public that the consumption of ground nuts need not be the exclusive preference of the nation’s pigs. The double page ad from Saturday Evening Post (May 1956) celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Planter’s products and provides a handy history of the company’s expansion. It may have been written in 1956 but the text could easily pass for the present day language of MBA-speak or the clichéd drivel of Dragon’s Den. Anyway the time has come for Mr. P’s transition to a new life in retirement – his next appearance may well be on eBay. 

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