In news that has arrived suspiciously close to Super Bowl Sunday, M&M’s announced today that the brand’s “beloved spokescandies” would be placed on “indefinite pause” for being ostensibly divisive. The spokescandies will be replaced by comedian Maya Rudolph, who will be tasked with “champion[ing] the power of fun.”
In the past year, M&M’s changes to the personalities and likenesses of its candy characters have stoked the ire of conservatives, who facilitated a minor uproar against the brand for being too “woke” as it made such minor adjustments as redesigning some M&M’s shoes and removing titles like “Mr.” and “Mrs.” from certain candies.
“We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice [the changes],” read the brand’s official statement, posted to Twitter on Monday. “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.”
In January 2022, the Green M&M’s go-go boots were swapped out for sneakers, and the Brown M&M’s high heels were lowered slightly. New personality traits were established for each candy, aiming for a more inclusive fictional anthropomorphic group of friends. Red was reimagined to be nicer, Orange was anxious, Blue was the one you’re supposed to imagine building a life with if things were different (my interpretation), and so on. Last fall, the brand announced a new member of the crew, Purple, complete with her own elaborate backstory: the first woman Peanut M&M. Finally, girls can be peanuts too.
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That’s been enough to get some members of the media, like conservative commentator and ham-on-stick Tucker Carlson, to deride M&M’s for its decisions. For the record, though, no one ended up happy about a less horny Green M&M. Let Green be horny and a “good friend” or whatever!
Today’s tweet set off a firestorm of comments, ranging from confusion to outrage to “good riddance.”
“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,” read a statement from the brand.
The timing of this latest M&M’s announcement, however, is suspiciously close to Super Bowl Sunday, mother of all advertising opportunities. Is that when M&M’s spokescandies might make their return?
A splashy Super Bowl commercial starring Maya Rudolph would be the perfect opportunity for M&M’s to do another full cast makeover, ideally one that takes the gang in an even grittier direction. Here are my predictions for what the Super Bowl ad might look like:
- Maya Rudolph is tied to a set of train tracks. The M&M personalities are trying to undo the ropes, but their hands are slippery from sweat. The candies are sweating so much, in fact, that the moisture threatens their very existence. No train ever arrives, so they give up and all have a cigarette.
- We learn that the Orange M&M is a serial carjacker who’s anxious because he worries everyone is mad at him (and they are). Maya Rudolph picks him up mid-car-theft and drives him to an intervention hosted by his friends in the hopes of helping him with his car-stealing problem.
- Maya Rudolph and the girl M&M’s hold up a bank. The bank tellers give them the money immediately, and it’s kind of boring.
One of these is probably right. We’ll see in three weeks!