The favorite childhood candy M&M's has been under the spotlight lately after making some changes to the well-known spokescandies we've been familiar with for years. The brand announced that they'll be replacing these characters with Maya Rudolph because things have become too "polarizing."
Earlier this month, M&M's released a campaign that was all about "supporting women." It featured an all-female cast of spokescandies, and the brand claimed that the new wrapper was meant to encourage women and empower them. "We're celebrating women across the country who are flipping the status quo! Help us shine the spotlight by nominating a woman in your life who is breaking barriers and paving a new path," the brand tweeted along with the new look. This release sparked a conversation about the ever-growing trend of large corporations using their food products to promote a progressive message, such as Ben & Jerry's, Oreos, etc. On Monday, M&M's announced that they never meant to get political and they have chosen to replace their candy characters with someone else.
M&M's Replaces Their Popular Spokescandies with Maya Rudolph Because "Even a Candy's Shoes Can Be Polarizing"
M&M's, owned by Mars Wrigley, who also owns Snickers and Skittles, tweeted out a message to announce a change in the brand. “America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies,” the company said. “We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn't think it would break the internet." Breaking the internet is a generous way to put it. While there was talk of the recent changes to the wrapper, it wasn't exactly viral news that everyone was talking about.
“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," the brand continued. "Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies. 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 tweet has 32,000 likes and elicited thousands of responses. Many people claim they aren't buying this narrative and that the real story is that the brand is experiencing the pains of "go woke, go broke."
In a segment on his show recently, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson covered the changes in the way the spokescandies looked. The green M&M swapped out her high heels for a pair of flats, and the brown M&M traded in her stilettos for kitten heels. "M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous,” Tucker said. Some people found it to be entertaining, while others said it was silly that this could even be considered news.
Regardless of how Tucker reported on this news, there were plenty of people who responded to M&M's recent development with thoughts on why they suddenly decided to kill the spokescandies and go with comedian Maya Rudolph instead.
Regardless of politics, it is odd to see a company at the level of M&M's suddenly change their entire marketing platform just because some people online—and one conservative show host—complained about the "woke" implications of their latest campaign. No photos or videos have been released of what Maya Rudolph will look like when she becomes the new face of M&M's, but she probably won't bring anything political into the conversation.