Planters Social Media Brings Mr. Peanut to New Audience

While many brands run promotions and campaigns for Valentine’s day, Planters took a unique approach of using a mixture of content, live engagement, and surprise & delight to attract attention from the audience they aimed to attract.

Social Summary

We analyzed the Planters Valentine’s Day campaign using feeds tracking Tweets from or mentioning Mr.Peanut, AskDrRuth, and hashtags #Planters and individual hashtags planters began using during the campaign like #CrunchTime and #NutALoveSong . We tracked the conversation over the 9 days leading up to Valentine’s Day and found some interesting results and takeaways from both the posts produced and the audience talking with Mr.Peanut.

As seen above, the campaign had quite the response, with significant levels of engagement, and over 28 million impressions which garnered an impression value of almost 150k for the nostalgic brand.

Activity increased significantly the week of valentine’s day, showing exponential growth on February 13th.

To better understand how Planters generated this growth in activity around their campaign, we analyzed how they executed the campaign to find what can be learned from their success.

The Campaign

Fresh off their first Super Bowl ad, which starred celebrities like A-Rod and Charlie Sheen alongside their reimagined iconic mascot, Mr. Peanut, Planters set their sights on the next target: Valentine’s Day.

The day after they game, they tweeted their “Post Game” conference, which hinted at a surprise collaboration they had planned for the February holiday. This tactic of hinting at an upcoming surprise was a familiar tune for the brand and has helped generate buzz leading up to campaigns.  They’d recently used this strategy leading up to the announcement of A-Rod’s involvement in their Superbowl commercial.

The following day they announced they’d be partnering with the famous, Dr. Ruth to help answer people’s relationship questions. This campaign was certainly an interesting step for the brand but is consistent with their recent steps to break out from their more traditional branding in the past.

Mr. Peanut Talks Back

One of the most noticeable takeaways from the campaign was the sheer volume of engagement from the Mr.Peanut Twitter account and it seems to have paid off. This is something brands can learn from as many often fall short on fully leveraging engagement during campaigns to drive maximum activity and increase reach. We analyzed the conversation around the campaign and found over 280 replies from Mr. Peanut, helping generate the high engagement numbers seen in our summary.

Getting Nutty in the DM’s

“Surprise & Delight”, a term often used by Vaynermedia’s Founder and CEO, Gary Vaynerchuk, played a big role in both of the agencies recent campaigns for the nut brand. During the Super Bowl, Planters ran a live promotion giving surprise prizes to 50 fans who engaged with the brand, making custom artwork congratulating each individual one and announcing what they’d won.

During the Valentine’s Day campaign, they took a less public approach, only noticed when analyzing their replies to users’ Tweets. Many fans who asked questions about what to get for their significant other, received a response, offering a Valentine’s Day surprise if the user sent a DM.

We analyzed the conversation around the campaign and found 30 instances of Mr. Peanut replying to Tweets and informing followers that they’d be receiving a prize from the brand.

This tactic of rewarding engaged followers with an unexpected value add, not only exceeds all expectations for loyal fans but also incentivizes others to contribute to the conversation, in hopes that they may too be rewarded. For those who win, they’re much more likely to share their stories with their friends and family, whether on social or offline. It’s not every day that a brand takes this route, and when done successfully, it has the potential of establishing deep connections with fans, which can produce long term brand preferences, as well as brand advocates who spread their love for the brand new customers.
Most of the Tweets didn’t specify what reward the fan would be receiving, but in 3 Tweets Mr. Peanut offered to take care of their dinner reservations on the night of the big day, and in 5 others the Peanut informed them that they’d be picked up by the Nut Mobile for a night on the town. One user was even given a copy of Dr. Ruth’s new book.

Salty Hashtags

They cleverly tied together the approaching holiday with their current hashtag #CrunchTime, and used this in many of their replies to users’ question On the day before Valentine’s Day, they posted another attempt at continuing the conversation around the campaign asking for people to tweet their favorite peanut related love themed song using the hashtag #NutALoveSong. Not only was this incredibly unique, it was also inherently shareable, as the team behind the account was extremely creative with their puns on traditional songs and engaged with many of the fan-created Tweets.

The utilization of these unique hashtags allowed them to “tag” interactions with followers as well as increase the use and awareness of the different hashtags.

Target Audience

Planters, a traditional brand which was founded over 100 years ago, has further developed their identity in the digital age, crafting a new persona on platforms like Twitter, and taken on a new voice in its attempt to reach audiences who had long tuned out the more traditional marketing efforts. We wanted to see what type of audience they had captivated during this most recent campaign, and how it differed from the brand’s typical audience.
Despite many reports of Planters recent marketing campaigns aimed to help them gain more attention with millennials, we found that the campaign actually had an 11.7% lower percentage of millennials than the typical Mr. Peanut audience, showing a larger increase in the Baby Boomer generation.

People that interacted with the campaign on social media were 88% more likely to be 55 and older than Mr. Peanut’s following on social. millennials still made up the greatest proportion of the audience, but the 2x percentage of baby boomers, likely from the involvement of Dr. Ruth’s audience, could be a strategic attempt to connect with their older long-time customers in the newer social media landscape.

When evaluating the audience, there was also variation in gender make-up. Mr. Peanuts typical following has a 44% female audience, however, this campaign resonated more with females, shifting the percentage of females interacting with the brand up to almost 56%.

We also discovered that 11.9% of the audience had an affinity for value brands, almost 40x the baseline social audience. This would make sense due to the company’s position as an affordable lower cost CPG product.

One final insight we found when comparing the campaign’s audience with Mr. Peanut’s typical audience was that people interacting with the conversation were 2 times more likely to be interested in healthy living. This could be a result of Dr. Ruth involvement and the overall discussion of healthy lives and relationships.

Final Thoughts For Brands

  • Engage with your replies to make your audience feel heard and increase engagement around your posts.
  • Surprise and delight loyal followers to increase brand love in fans, as well as incentivizing others to contribute to the conversation.
  • Use custom #Hashtags to tag posts, comments, and replies within the conversation around a campaign, and increase awareness and utilization of a hashtag. If the conversation experiences any viral lift, the hashtag’s potential to trend could be higher if your brand has consistently used it while engaging with followers.
  • Have a Voice! If a 100+ year old traditional peanut brand can have so much personality and originality, especially vulnerably aligning themselves with a personality like Dr. Ruth, your brand can absolutely handle having a little personality of its own.