In an absolutely wild turn of events, Twitter has suspended multiple meme accounts created by nut company Planters to share content about its new mascot, Baby Nut.
Twitter believes that Planters violated its rules about spam and platform manipulation with three meme accounts — @BabyNutBaby, @BabyNutMemes and @BabyNutLOL. The suspensions are just the latest bizarre event in this absolutely baffling peanut ad campaign.
It all began in January when Planters announced that its mascot, Mr. Peanut, died. In a video, Planter’s ad agency, VaynerMedia, showed Mr. Peanut sacrifice himself to save his friends. The agency told CNBC that the campaign was inspired by the online response to the death of Marvel’s Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.
Then, Planters temporarily halted the ad campaign out of respect for recently deceased basketball player Kobe Bryant before pushing ahead to the campaign’s conclusion with an ad during the 2020 Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl ad depicted the funeral of Mr. Peanut, which included Mr. Clean and the Kool-Aid Man. During the ad, the Kool-Aid Man openly wept over Mr. Peanut’s grave and his tears lead to the birth of Baby Nut, a mascot in the vein of The Mandalorian‘s Baby Yoda.
Aside from trying to capitalize on the Baby Yoda-like infant legume, Planters also launched a Baby Nut merchandise line.
Planters created Baby Nut meme accounts, supposedly to manipulate the internet and make its ad go viral
However, as odd as this ad campaign is, Planters’ real sin — according to Twitter — was trying to game the internet. Insider reports that the official @MrPeanut Twitter account began retweeting Baby Nut meme accounts created before the public could have learned about Baby Nut’s existence. One account was created as early as 2019, suggesting the accounts were part of a coordinated effort by Planters to make Baby Nut viral.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS A THING pic.twitter.com/PHJT7RhRsk
— j aubrey ? (@jaubreyYT) February 3, 2020
Planters’ parent company, Kraft Heinz, confirmed to Insider that Twitter suspended three of its Baby Nut meme accounts. Further, Kraft Heinz offered the following statement:
“As we prepared to launch Baby Nut, we knew our fans would want as much content as they could get. After consulting with Twitter, we launched three meme-sharing accounts (@BabyNutBaby, @BabyNutMemes and @BabyNutLOL) in a fashion we believed was compliant with its terms of service. After we went forward, Twitter ultimately decided these accounts were noncompliant. We respect that decision.”
Twitter’s rules specifically forbid accounts from artificially amplifying or suppressing information, as well as engaging in behaviour that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on the social network.
While Twitter’s reasoning here seems somewhat contrived, it did spare us from having to live in a world with a potentially viral Baby Nut. For that, I am thankful. What remains, however, is the remnants of Planters’ ad campaign — mostly in the form of Baby Nut merchandise likely no one will buy. That and questions — many, many questions.
At this point, not even Kool-Aid Man’s tears could save this trainwreck of an ad campaign.
Update 02/03/2020: Added a tweet showing some of the Baby Nut meme content the internet apparently wanted so much.