In 1906, 19-year old Italian immigrant Amedo Obici started selling roasted peanuts in sealed packages to the residents of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Ten years later, he staged a contest for a company logo and the $5 prize went to a 14-year old boy who won for his drawing of a Peanut Man. Obici added spats, top hat and monocle in an attempt to expand the market for peanuts by making the snack seem more upscale. (At the time, peanuts were a nosh of the poor; on plantations, they'd been a staple reserved for slaves which is why "peanut gallery" came into the lexicon to refer to the cheapest seats in a theater.)
94 years later, Mr. Peanut acquires a gray flannel suit and a voice. (The voice of Robert Downey, Jr.) He speaks for the first time today in a spot debuting on his Facebook page where you can follow Planters' evolution through the century, including a handsomely illustrated 1920's poster that touts it as "The Nickel Lunch." Creative by Being, NY-- a spin-off from TBWA Worldwide to avoid conflict with another snack foods client, Mars.