Monday, 30 January 2023 15:17

Branding Agency in Denver Examines M&M’s New Branding Shift

M&M’s, the flagship product of the candy manufacturer, Mars Inc., has been in the news a lot recently, and not just for selling candy. Instead, the media attention has been on their spokescandies – the personified M&M’s candies that have been an iconic part of the brand for decades. Now it looks like the candy characters are out and a new voice is ready to take over for the product. The news piqued our interest as a branding agency in Denver and we wanted to use our industry knowledge to discuss what caused the change of direction and where this could lead the brand in the future.

Understanding the M&M’s Rebrand with a Top Branding Agency in Denver

So, what kicked off this brand shift? Let's start by explaining what brought M&M’s to this point and where they hope to go from here.

Background on the M&M’s Brand

M&M’s have been a beloved candy since 1941 when they were first introduced to the public. The iconic chocolate treats have become a staple of American culture and are enjoyed by people of all ages. Over the years, M&M’s has used various marketing campaigns to keep its brand fresh and relevant. One of the most successful campaigns was the introduction of the spokescandies in 1954.

The spokescandies have been a group of personified M&M’s that represented the brand and helped to create a connection between the candy and its consumers. Its relevance and popularity have lasted decades but their run has come to an end.

What Happened to the Spokescandies?

The candy brand has been caught up in controversy in the past year or so due to adjustments to the spokescandy character designs. This change was well-intentioned as the mascots were being overhauled to be “more inclusive” and better reflect “today’s society.” Unfortunately, the branding change hasn't gone down well with some.

Some high-profile media personalities and outlets have vocalized their dissatisfaction with the new appearance and have skewered the branding change for political correctness. To quell criticism, M&M’s opted for a redo of their strategy. This means the animated M&Ms are out, and a new face is in.

The brand tapped actress and comedian, Maya Rudolph, to be its new spokesperson.

How This Change Affects the Brand Going Forward

The change in direction for the M&M’s branding is a bold move and one that could have a lasting impact on the brand, especially when you realize how long the mascots have been associated with the candies. Whether this change will be good or bad is yet to be seen.

With Maya Rudolph as their new spokesperson, the brand could drastically increase its appeal to a larger audience. Her comedic style, relatability, and personality could be just what the brand needs to reach a wider demographic while still maintaining the comedic brand voice that the spokescandies built. We can also assume that Mars is hoping to make a memorable appearance as a part of this year's Super Bowl commercial lineup, which will solidify Rudolph’s role as the spokesperson.

That said, the decision to pivot away from cartoon mascots due to back-lash from high-profile media personalities may represent issues for inclusivity efforts. It’s important to make inclusivity and diversity high priorities in advertising, but this news may force some brands to think differently about changing mascot designs or brand personalities.

At our branding agency in Denver, we are excited to see where this new direction takes the M&M’s brand and how it may influence other companies’ branding decisions. It's always interesting to watch how companies respond to criticism and adjust their strategies accordingly.

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