Something a little nutty happened recently in the tiny cul-de sac located south of West Court Avenue. On the afternoon of Sept. 2, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a large peanut pulled up in front of Murray Cline’s residence. He and his family had gathered outside anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Planters NUTmobile. Apparently, a week earlier, one of Cline’s daughters had seen a posting on Facebook where the public could request a visit from the peanut-shaped vehicle.
If they happened to be traveling in the area at that time, they would try and stop by. As the odd-shaped vehicle pulled to a stop, Cline and his family huddled at the end of the driveway to welcome the vehicle’s inhabitants.
Soon the stairs on the south side of the vehicle lowered and out popped two girls and a guy officially known in the Planters world as “Peanutters”. Known as “Go Nuts Grace”, “ShanNut”, and “Maca-Danny-A” all three serve as goodwill ambassadors representing the Planters brand. After handing each member of the Cline family a bag of nuts and a sticker, they took time to visit and share their stories.
All recent college graduates, these brand representatives are part of a total crew of nine “Peanutters” who are selected to drive three NUTmobiles throughout the country in any given year.
This current team are college graduates of Southern Illinois, Syracuse University, and Arizona State. They were chosen from a pool of 3,000 applicants. Those who applied have a BS or BA degree in advertising, marketing, public relations, or communications. Although not limited to those degrees, ambassadors need to possess a friendly personality, sense of adventure, and boundless enthusiasm.
The team had to complete two weeks of training in Madison, Wisc., where the program is based, before venturing across the country in the NUTmobile. Called “Peanut Prep”, they learned about speaking on behalf of the Planters brand, Planters history, and how to drive the vehicles.
“We actually got to train with the teams of the Weinermobile,” explained crew member “Go Nuts Grace”.
Usually seen in parades, and at fairs or festivals, the pandemic has forced the program to think outside of the box altering their visits to more of a drive-by type such as birthdays and anniversary celebrations.
Before traveling to Winterset, the crew had a stop in Creston to meet someone who truly had Mr. Peanut in mind. In fact, they had Planter’s memorabilia throughout their whole basement.
With their visit coming to an end, the three-member crew gave away one more bag of peanuts, and waved goodbye. The NUTmobile soon pulled away from its parking spot in the tiny cul-de sac heading down the road for yet another visit with two school age girls in Grimes.