M&M’s: Marketing Stunt or Killing the Brand?

By Zamantha Muñoz-Morales

If there’s one candy that has made a name for itself over the years, it would be M&M’s. These chocolates aren’t really anything special since they’re just candy-coated milk chocolate circles. The real gold, and probably what makes the candies sell, are the mascots. That’s right! The famous walking and talking M&M’s candies that you’ll most likely see on television ads. Many people have seen these mascots. However, at the end of 2022, things started to go downhill, and only downhill. There was so much controversy regarding the changes made to the M&M’s mascots that it led to an indefinite pause from the spokescandies. Should we not expect to see them anytime soon or if this is just a marketing stunt? Before we can answer, let’s start at the beginning.

The first relatively small change made to the M&M’s was on February 1, 2022. At first glance, you wouldn’t even notice, but upon closer inspection, you’d see some changes. Orange, Red, and Yellow now had some hyperrealistic shoes instead of their cartoony shoes. Ms. Green surrendered her boots for some Nike white sneakers. The changes were all part of a marketing stunt to shine a light on inclusivity. Inclusivity is one of the most trending topics to date and almost every single company out there has tried to be inclusive to represent different communities, races, and countries. Yes, inclusivity matters, but the company is still trying to make money. The change overall was small and did little damage, but once the company decided to have more inclusivity, it took an unexpected turn.  

The second act the company decided to do was introduce a new character representing inclusivity. Where are my manners?  Everyone, meet Purple. She is definitely not another Ms. Green or Brown. Instead of being mostly a perfectionist, she’s a quirky, nice, and charming girl.  Purple seems at first glance like a peanut or almond M&M if you look at her design. She’s not. She’s actually a brand new flavor altogether, a flavor that didn’t even release last year. The flavor in question was the caramel cold brew set to release later this year. How did Purple break the internet?  Well, many people online have been fuming over this. Some people think that M&M’s is taking this diversity topic too far. Some people have even said that they don’t want them to have traits that represent the real world. The question that has been spreading like wildfire on the internet is, “Will M&M’s melt in your mouth?” It’s backlash like this that led to the biggest risk in mascot history.

M&M’s finally decided to come out with an important announcement. This announcement was about the recent backlash that the chocolates were facing. It was making it official that the spokescandies were taking an indefinite pause. Now who was filling the shoes of the spokescandies?  None other than the beloved spokesperson Maya Rudolph.  Now everyone was begging for the spokescandies to return. Shortly after this announcement, Maya started making some changes to the candies we know and love. First, she decided to have her face printed on the candies. Then she changed the name from M&Ms to Ma&Ya’s. Then she made the craziest decision known to man in my opinion. She made Ma&Ya’s candy-coated clam bites. This all seems too crazy to be true right? Well, it all seemed like they’d officially let the spokescandies go but, what if we were overreacting? What if it was all a bizarre marketing stunt?

The community was split fifty-fifty. Some people believed that this was a marketing stunt, and others believed that the spokescandies were gone for good. Believe it or not, this may actually just have been a marketing stunt. As many of you are aware, the Super Bowl wasn’t far away and the timing of this announcement was when the Super Bowl was right around the corner. Also, the candies had been spotted everywhere but the M&M’s official Instagram account.  Blue was working as a sports insider, and Yellow was a spokescandy for Snickers — further evidence that this was just a marketing stunt since the Super Bowl is known as the biggest event for advertising. Therefore, it’s time you know that the M&M’s aren’t done yet, they were just on a small hiatus.  

Now we know the true answer because we saw the spokescandies returned at the Super Bowl in an advertisement resolving the matter. All of the candies said that they were happy to return, and this pleased a good majority of America.  Fans were happy to see the candies return but know that we can make the spokescandies go on an indefinite hiatus. Know what power the public has on the product. This may have been all fun and games, but, if anything, this can happen again if the same people rage at candy-coated chocolates.  

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