M&M’s the well-known brand of candy-coated chocolates that have been produced since 1941, is dropping its “spokescandies”. The characters that appear on the packaging and in advertising for the brand, have first been introduced in CGI, in the early 1990s in the United States as part of an advertising campaign to promote the brand, and have been used ever since.
The “spokescandies” were created to give the brand a more relatable and personable image, and to help connect with consumers on an emotional level and they have been often depicted in various scenarios. They also have different colours like blue, brown, green, orange and purple, but red and yellow are the most iconic. The purple one is the latest addition; it was introduced in September 2022 and is voiced by American comedian Amber Ruffin.
Aiming to represent a wider range of human characteristics and personal backgrounds, Mars announced last year it will change the characters, mostly the female ones, Green and Brown. At the time Mars said that Green’s change in appearance reflected “confidence and empowerment, as a strong female, and known for much more than her boots.” The move sparked conservative media backlash, Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson criticize the brand, saying “Woke M&M’s have returned. The Green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian maybe? And there’s also a plus-sized, obese Purple M&M. So we’re going to cover that, of course because that’s what we do.”
The company took it to Twitter on Monday posting: “America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing.” Therefore, the spokescandies will take an “indefinite pause” and will replaced by “the beloved” Maya Rudolph. “We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong.”