Go woke, go broke: M&M’s announces ‘indefinite pause’ on inclusive ‘spokescandies’

Mars candy has decided that maybe going “woke” wasn’t such a good idea and has announced it will temporarily retire its M&M’s “spokescandies” after substantial blowback, replacing them with an ad campaign led by Saturday Night Live veteran Maya Rudolph.

The candy giant made changes in the shoes of the iconic M&M characters as well as adjustments to their voices and personalities. The inclusive upgrades evidently weren’t met with approval by many out there with a sweet tooth.

“America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved 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. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted, since we’re all about bringing people together,” the M&M brand tweeted Monday.

“Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies. In their place, we are proud to introduce a new 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,” Mars announced.

The green M&M was given tennis shoes rather than blocky footwear. Then the company introduced a female purple M&M “spokescandy” last year, followed by an all-female packaging promotion earlier in January of this year. Rumor has it that given the timing of Rudolph’s first appearance in an M&M’s ad, it will be for a Super Bowl commercial next month, according to ComicBook.

The purple M&M was “designed to represent inclusivity and acceptance with the character known for self-expression, self-awareness, authenticity, and confidence all as part of her charm. The character is set to ‘help more people feel they belong,'” ComicBook asserts.

“Mars is thrilled to debut the newest member of the M&M’S cast of characters to the world. There is so much about our new spokescandy that people can relate to and appreciate, including her willingness to embrace her true self. Our new character reminds us to celebrate what makes us unique,” said Jane Hwang, Global Vice President at Mars Wrigley. “Our purpose story is just getting started and the introduction of our newest M&M’S spokescandy is the next chapter, as the brand continues to delight fans with fun in a way only M&M’S can.”

As for the female M&M’s character packaging, the brand claims it is celebrating women who are “flipping the status quo” with the limited-edition product that featured purple, brown, and green M&M’s. The all-female character packaging was ostensibly designed to honor women changing the world by flipping gender roles and ideas.

 

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“Women all over the world are flipping how they define success and happiness while challenging the status quo, so we’re thrilled to be able to recognize and celebrate them – and who better to help us on that mission than our own powerhouse spokescandies green, brown and purple?” Gabrielle Wesley, chief marketing officer at Mars Wrigley North America, said in a statement.

In September, a song called “I’m Just Gonna Be Me” was released on all major music streaming platforms. For every stream of the song, M&M’s pledged $1 (up to five hundred thousand dollars) to Sing for Hope, a non-profit that contends it harnesses the power of the arts to bring hope, connection, and purpose to millions of people around the world through music.

ComicBook is reporting that the charitable aspect of the purple M&M’s debut is a part of M&M’s FUNd, the brand’s global initiative intended to track its impact on its mission to increase a sense of belonging for ten million people by 2025. They rolled out a virtually identical promotion with the all-female packaging, donating money to women’s causes via partnerships with She Is the Music and We are Moving the Needle.

If Rudolph continues to push the woke message that went down in flames for the brand to begin with, her tenure as a spokesperson may be short-lived. It remains to be seen what the direction of the new ad campaign will take and whether Mars has actually learned its lesson on wokeness.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

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