It’s Christmastime Again, CVR!

December 18, 2015

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Holiday Peanuts reference: check.

Now I can move on with my blog.

Or can I? *SIGH *… nope, no I can’t sorry. Good Grief.

Peanuts has been everywhere this year, and personally, I can’t say I’m a fan. Don’t get me wrong, Peanuts has evolved. I haven’t been able to go anywhere in 2015 without bumping into Chuck, Peppermint Patty/Sir, Sally or anyone else. Obviously, it’s all mostly strategically placed marketing hype material to increase profits and hype the gritty, live-action reboot that hit theatres a few weeks ago.

…Oh, wait, no that was the TODAY Show anchors’ haunting Halloween costumes.

But, a reboot film DID drop a couple weeks ago, with positive reviews, including a nothing-to-sneeze-at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes – it was computer animated, and from the previews appeared to hit all the marks required from anything Peanuts anymore. Snoopy doing The Red Baron thing, Charlie Brown looking miserable and PigPen achieving a new level of filthy (once again, not talking about Meredith Viera’s take on PigPen this past Halloween). Now, I haven’t seen the movie. I don’t have kids or nieces or nephews so I didn’t have anyone who would take me. And despite my apathy towards Peanuts, I can’t help be in awe at the rebranding of this classic comic strip that growing up I called “Charlie Brown” because it felt so distant to me that I didn’t realize it was called something outside the main character’s name.

My dad, he loves Peanuts. But even growing up with a dad who loved Peanuts, it only seemed like a holiday thing to me. There were holiday specials played at my house, Snoopy ornaments on the tree and of course the Vince Guaraldi Trio playing all the smoothest background jams from Thanksgiving to New Years.

When my dad was growing up, everything was Peanuts. Well, according to him. He’s defended the “cool” of Joe Cool to me many a time. Claiming that when he was a kid, everyone collected Snoopy stuff, read the comic strip and watched the specials whenever they aired. But no matter what it was for his generation – Chuck and the gang never did anything for me. Charlie Brown depressed me, I saw too much of myself in Lucy, and Linus was such a goody-two-shoes that the show and comic never grabbed my attention. Up until this year, I saw Peanuts as a holiday tradition more than a touchstone of my youth.

Now that Warner Bros. owns Peanuts Worldwide, it seems they’ve decided to revitalize the Shulz brainchild. With the 3D movie taking over theatres, Peanuts gear available at Gap Kids and a Peanuts presence in practically every toy aisle, it will be interesting to see if it sticks to this generation more strongly than it did to me.

And I guess, if I had to bring it back to advertising, which my boss would appreciate, we are witnessing the revitalization of a brand. Yes, Peanuts is a brand. Sorry about your heartstrings, Dad, but it’s also exciting to think that something that came from an earnest, creative place in the mind of one guy (shout out to Charles Schulz!) can continually be reinvented by reinvesting in what made it a household name in the first place. So before you go being a blockhead about your brand, take a step back and think about what made your brand your brand in the first place … before the football gets pulled out from under you.