M&M’s announced that it’s taking a break from polarizing its beloved spokescandies “to pursue other passions.”
In their stead, actress Maya Rudolph will become the candy brand’s new spokesperson and is set to make her first appearance with the brand in M&M’s upcoming Super Bowl LVII campaign.
The “indefinite pause” of the M&M spokescandies comes as a shock to consumers, who witnessed the spokescandies’ rebrand only last January. The colorful mascots’ new look highlights themes of inclusion and diversity, especially with the September unveiling of Purple, a spokescandy with a more feminine appearance.
While this shift in marketing strategy has been confirmed by M&M’s to be a playful storyline to hype up M&M’s Super Bowl spot, it comes at the heels of controversy drawn by last year’s rebrand. More conservative commentators have thought the changes to be a pander to “woke” culture.
While sidelining beloved mascots—though temporary—has stirred quite the controversy, Steve Gorski, head of strategy at Forsman & Bodenfors NY, has said that a strong point of view can build value in a brand, commercializing a cause or issue is not the best of strategies. “[The cause or issue] needs to be rooted in your core brand and ideally tied to the way people interact with your products,” advises Gorski.
As for the “other passions” of the spokescandies, M&M has revealed that, in their new 15-second ad for the Super Bowl, the Orange M&M will be hosting a meditation-themed Spotify playlist.
At the same time, the Yellow M&M attempts to be a spokescandy for Snickers. More “unique journeys” are to follow while Maya Rudolph makes her first appearance as the candy brand’s “Chief of Fun.”