Kraft Heinz snack brand Planters is pausing paid advertising behind a campaign about the apparent death of its animated mascot, Mr. Peanut, after a helicopter crash Sunday killed nine people, including retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
"We wanted you to know that we are saddened by this weekend's news and Planters has paused all campaign activities, including paid media, and will evaluate next steps through a lens of sensitivity to those impacted by this tragedy," a spokesman said in an email. The news of the pause was first reported by Ad Age.
The spokesman said that the pause impacts paid advertising on channels such as Twitter and YouTube and some other outreach. He said no change has been made to the company's plans for Super Bowl Sunday.
Planters last week released a cryptic tweet with a link to a video showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself to save actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh by plunging to his death. The spot, done with VaynerMedia, will appear before Super Bowl kickoff during the pregame show. Then, during the third quarter of the game, the company promises to "broadcast Mr. Peanut's funeral, so the world can mourn the loss of the beloved legume together."
Mr. Peanut's social channels have been renamed with "The Estate of Mr. Peanut" with a graphic of a crying monocle, and his Twitter account asked users to "pay respects" with the hashtag, #RIPeanut.