Opinion: M&M’s Are Here to Stay


The M&M’s “spokescandies” returned in a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 12 (Photo: M&M’s on YouTube)

We’ve all been on an emotional roller coaster in the time following the M&Ms controversy.

The iconic M&M’s “spokescandies” have been the face of the brand for almost 30 years. However, this January, M&M’s announced that their spokescandies were being replaced by comedian Maya Rudolph as the face of the brand. This change came after Tucker Carlson spent the last year ignoring mass shootings because he was mad about the green M&M’s choice of footwear. For a month, with Rudolph as the face of the brand, M&M’s had us fooled into thinking they had given in to the pressure of a ridiculous culture war.

We were wrong.

Over that month, we all thought M&M’s showed incredible weakness. It turned out to be a genius marketing campaign.

The truth revealed itself when the spokescandies made their triumphant return in a Super Bowl commercial. Initially, it seemed as though the company was trying to convince us that our beloved spokescandies were gone for good. We soon realized we were being messed with when in an early-game ad, they promoted “Ma&Ya’s candy-coated clam bites.” With Super Bowl commercials costing upwards of $7 million this year, as well as the fact that they hired Rudolph to star in the ad, it’s clear that M&M’s went all out.

I think it was absolutely worth it.

Super Bowl viewership reached 113 million households this year. It’s the biggest stage possible for the spokescandies to make their return. All of these people got to see the M&M’s saga play out in real-time. The hype surrounding the spokescandies spread everywhere online. Any time I opened up Twitter in the days following the game, I couldn’t escape the talk about M&M’s. The past month has brought more attention to M&M’s than the brand has seen in a long time. The company turned the alt-right’s criticism into a marketing, PR, and money-making machine. This is absolute genius coming from the M&M’s marketing team, and it’s clearly paid off.

The M&M’s spokescandies are iconic. I’ve grown up seeing them on TV, on candy packages, and even on clothing. They are beloved. There was no way that we could ever say goodbye to them. I’m glad to know they’re here to stay.