The makeover continues for the M&M's candy brand with a major announcement on Monday morning. The company shared a statement on social media acknowledging that its recent updates to its mascots – "spokescandies" – have been divisive. For now, the brand will bench these characters altogether and allow comedian Maya Rudolph to represent them instead.
"America, let's talk. In the last year, we've made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren't sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn't think it would break the internet," The statement began. This was almost certainly referencing some viral videos circulating in recent weeks, showing the extensive coverage of M&M's mascot changes on Fox News. Perhaps with a hint of sarcasm, the statement went on: "But now we get it – even a candy's shoe can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M's wanted since we're all about bringing people together."
A message from M&M'S. pic.twitter.com/EMucEBTd9o— M&M'S (@mmschocolate) January 23, 2023
"Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies," the announcement continued. "In their place, we are proud to introduce a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph. We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong."
The announcement drew all sorts of reactions on social media – many eye-rolling and unimpressed. A lot of commenters seemed to assume that this movie was a precursor to some sort of big ad campaign, especially with the Super Bowl approaching in just a few weeks. Others leaned into the politicized aspect of the conversation on one side or the other.
For those catching up, M&M's has employed animated anthropomorphic candies in its ad campaigns since 1954, but they have changed a lot over the years. The current CGI versions of the characters were introduced in the 1990s, at which time the female M&M's were generally characterized as seductive, sometimes wearing high-heeled shoes. In January 2022, the company overhauled these characters, toning down the sexuality of the green and brown candies.
These changes got a lot of coverage on Fox News where Tucker Carlson argued that they were evidence of some kind of culture war with a nefarious agenda. Clips of this coverage went viral online, where Carlson's critics mocked him for being so invested in the sexuality of animated candies. However, those critics did not seem to know what to make of M&M's announcement on Monday.
As for Rudolph, she told reporters from Today that she is excited to take over this new ad campaign. She said: "I'm thrilled to be working with M&M's. I am a lifelong lover of the candy and I feel like it's such an honor to be asked to be part of such a legendary brand's campaign. It's a very fun pairing, if I do say so myself. I think little Maya would be thrilled to get to work with M&M's."