M&M’S recently introduced a new personality via Facebook, the Peanutty Professor. The nut aficionado, played by David Koechner, is on the “Search for the One” in an online content series. His travels have taken Peanutty and his assistant Morty to places as far as Munich and as close as Georgia (
to trespass on visit the home of George Washington Carver, of course) on a quest for the perfect peanut.
As if his penchant for peanuts wasn’t evident enough, the Professor’s J. Peterman-like packing list featured in “Pack Our Bags” only confirms the great lengths he’s willing to undertake. Peanutty dictates the list to his assistant Mort: a white flag (in case they need to surrender), “ransom money for the tribal chief,” the professor’s “lucky crutches,” and, of course, “last desperate letters home” showing us that this bumbling adventurer is constantly getting into all sorts of trouble.
The videos are directed by Tim K of Gifted Youth, Funny or Die’s commercial production company, which sets the bar high. Koechner, who just reprised his role as Champ Kind in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, does kooky well. But for me it’s Peanutty’s assistant Morty who is the real star of these shorts. Watch any of the clips on the M&M YouTube channel and you’ll see that clearly Morty steals the show with his cheerful commentary about unpleasant events that occur as a direct result of his loyalty to the professor (“I dislocated my back!”).
At the close of each clip we’re informed that “only 1 in 100 peanuts is lucky enough to become an M&Ms peanut.” Ah, so this campaign isn’t just about humor, it’s reminding the viewer of the quality of the beloved candy that’s been around since 1954. As much as I love the M&M’S “spokescandies,” this new character catches your attention — just in time for the company to launch the “Year of the Peanut,” a year-long integrated marketing campaign launching in Atlanta this New Year’s Eve.