Shortly after introducing a new character for the first time in 10 years and giving a makeover to their other “spokescandies,” M&M’s announced it was putting an “indefinite pause” on the characters and introducing a new human spokesperson.
The brand has now confirmed, however, that it was just a stunt for Super Bowl LVII. Following their advertisement during the Big Game, the characters will be back.
“Rest assured, the characters are our official long-term spokescandies,” the company said in a recent statement to the New York Times. It noted that their Super Bowl commercial will bring this story to a close, bringing the spokescandies back to “where they belong at the heart of the brand.”
It all began in January 2022 when the characters received subtle makeovers; the candies came in more shapes and sizes and showed up in different shoes than before. These changes were meant to let audiences focus on their personalities, like Red being kinder and Orange being anxious, as a way of promoting inclusivity.
However, some of the alterations — like Green’s shoes changing from white go-go boots to sneakers — sparked controversy on social media and from Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. There was even a petition on Change.org to “keep the Green M&M sexy.”
Then this January, Mars, Inc., the company that creates M&M’s, then took to social media to announce that it would be making changes again — this time in a big way.
“America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet,” M&M’s wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together. Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies.”
A message from M&M'S. pic.twitter.com/EMucEBTd9o
— M&M’S (@mmschocolate) January 23, 2023
The brand said that actor Maya Rudolph would replace the characters. M&M’s dubbed her the “Chief of Fun.”
“As Chief of Fun, Maya will use her comedic talents and captivating personality to help M&M’s build on its mission to create a world where everyone feels they belong. Her first appearance with the brand will be in M&M’s upcoming Super Bowl LVII campaign,” an M&M’s spokesperson told Simplemost in January, adding at that time that the “colorful cast of original spokescandies will step away to pursue other passions.”
In the meantime, Rudolph’s actions as Chief of Fun have included renaming M&M’s, putting her face on them, and making them clam-flavored.
Because this change came weeks after Mars announced M&M’s would be returning to the Super Bowl this year, however, many were left wondering if it was for real or simply a publicity stunt that would be revealed in the brand’s ad during the Big Game.
M&M’s has now not only confirmed that it was indeed just a stunt, it also revealed what the spokescandies have been up to since Rudolph took over their main roles.
“While Rudolph has added her own comedic flare to the brand, bringing the humor and fun ahead of the Big Game, the beloved M&M’S spokescandies have been enjoying the opportunity to explore their outside passions in advance of their return to their long-term and official roles after Super Bowl LVII,” the brand said in a press release. “The spokescandies have relished in new activities, reflective of their unique personalities, staying true to the M&M’S mission of bringing people together through fun and belonging.”
The brand says Orange, for example, is now a meditation content host on Spotify, while Yellow is the new face of the Snickers brand. Brown, on the other hand, will be serving as a guest host at Cheddar News, Purple is working with vocal coach Cheryl Porter to create music on TikTok and Instagram, and Blue is now a sports commentator.
Red is “making his presence known on eBay to sell his M&M’S collectibles in his own store with items that remind us of his awesomeness” — apparently, his first collection sold out in an hour. Meanwhile, Green has partnered with streetwear creator Jazerai Allen-Lord to create her very first sneaker design.
For all the details, you’ll have to tune into Super Bowl LVII, on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023 on Fox. M&M’s ad will air during the third commercial break in the second quarter.
By Kaitlin Gates, for Scripps News.
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