For decades, the animated M&M’s candy mascots dominated small screen ads. Whether they’re fainting from seeing Santa, griping about each other in board meetings, or trying to disable a rocket, the multi-colored characters are used to bringing their shenanigans to audiences at large. This might be why so many people were immediately up in arms after the company announced the iconic spokescandies are being replaced by comedy queen Maya Rudolph for an upcoming Super Bowl ad, saying it’s all an effort to sidestep past controversies.
News of Maya Rudolph’s partnership with the M&M’s brand came via a statement from the company that was shared on Instagram. The message explaining the surprising switch-up alluded to consumer reactions to various changes made to the characters in recent years, such as the Green M&M’s design changing to tone down perceived-as-sexual details, as well as the introduction of the Purple M&M. According to the press release, the company is putting the mascots on an “indefinite pause” and opting to move forward with Rudolph in their place. It all seem a bit too tongue in cheek to be real, and yet…
While appearing on Today, Rudolph teased that “lots of fun” will be had in regards to the upcoming Super Bowl ad, and shared how she felt to be the brand’s “Chief of Fun” spokesperson, saying:
M&M is known for its creative advertising and for using well-known celebrities like Danny DeVito for Super Bowl ads. It’s no shock they’d enlist a multi-hyphenate talent like Maya Rudolph, but certainly still wild to hear the mascots won’t be involved in any way. While it’s possible this is all an intentional plan to drum up more interest ahead of the ad, some on the internet are not too happy to hear this news and want answers:
There’s definitely a lot of confusion all around with this news, even beyond the decision to withhold the mascots. There’s no denying Maya Rudolph is a beloved comedy icon with scores of memorable moments on Saturday Night Live and plenty of other great performances on TV and in film. Still, there’s also no denying other celebrities may have been more obvious spokespersons for M&M’s, if any such people could please stand up.
Eminem seeing Maya Rudolph become the new M&M spokespersonpic.twitter.com/ts7plEh92QJanuary 23, 2023
Maybe the price for Eminem went up after last year’s elaborate Super Bowl halftime performance. In either case, Maya Rudolph is the new face of M&M’s going forward, and the one group we haven’t heard from would be the replaced M&M’s mascots. The chocolate-filled toons haven’t made any formal kind of statement at this time, but there are those on the internet who think they know how they’re feeling:
the green m&m after Maya Rudolph stole her job pic.twitter.com/rn6wX2DnBZJanuary 23, 2023
The online discourse about this situation, which features a lot of confusing opinions, has understandably left some to question why so many others are up in arms. Cyanide and Happiness creator Rob DenBleyker is one of those that had trouble making heads or tails of what he saw, and needed some help from followers to understand:
I don’t blame anyone who is confused, as there’s a deep mix of serious and silly reactions to the M&M news, making it a bit disorienting to navigate. Then you take all that and throw in the folks just making surreal memes to further enable chaos, and this situation has really gotten out of control:
how could m&m’s take this from us pic.twitter.com/WGlyiDkBUJJanuary 23, 2023
The world could really use a mustachioed M&M with the scripted wisdom of a talk show host like Dr. Phil right now, but I wouldn’t count on seeing anything like that at the Super Bowl. This whole situation has devolved into a real mess online, so I can only imagine how cord-cutters armed with only a Netflix subscription and years of not watching ads are navigating this right now.
I personally think the M&M characters will appear, and this is just another attention-grabbing pre-Super Bowl ad stunt similar to Ben Affleck selling Dunkin Donuts coffee. I guess we’ll see when the big game arrives and if people react even more unexpectedly if the mascots were indeed nixed.
Those who live for Super Bowl ads but don’t actually follow sports can get set to binge on some of the highest-quality (read as: expensive) commercials of the year on Fox on Sunday, February 12th. I’m excited to check out M&M’s upcoming ad, and am hoping it’ll at least measure up to some of the best commercials from last year’s big game.
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