In a world where everything sucks, we have to care about the M&M mascots
January 21, 2022 6:04 PM   Subscribe

"going forward, their iconic M&M characters will have more nuanced personalities." Most of the M&M characters are having their personalities changed. The female ones will have their shoes changed. Is this a thing we need to also get angry about in 2022, to have a less sexy green M&M?

John Paul Brammer and Alexandra Petri have some thoughts on this (archive.is links):

JPB: "If you want to make a man more progressive, you adjust his personality. If you want to update a woman, evidently, you give her new shoes.
In a move absolutely no one asked for, the candy-maker Mars Wrigley announced Thursday that it plans to refresh the multicolor mascots of its M&Ms to be more “inclusive” and have “more nuanced personalities.” It’s not immediately apparent how this will be accomplished by swapping the go-go boots the anthropomorphized green M&M has worn in advertisements since 1997 for a new pair of “cool, laid-back sneakers,” as the company said it would, nor what shaving some height off the brown M&M’s heels will do."


AP: "But they are still for eating, though? They are more accepting of one another and their own issues, but at the end of the day, they are still for eating, right? I can still eat them?
2. Who wanted this? Who, looking at the troubles that beset us in the Year of Our Lord 2022, said, “What needs to be fixed is that the M&M candy mascots are not well-rounded enough, except in the strictest, most literal sense. I demand that someone fix this, or I will never … eat them again?" What life is this person leading? Can I have this person’s life?"


I would also just like to point out, for the record, that one cannot, in fact, bang an imaginary candy. "Nice shoes, wanna fuck?" is not going to work here.
posted by jenfullmoon (54 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would also just like to point out, for the record, that one cannot, in fact, bang an imaginary candy.

*Thinks hard*
posted by Going To Maine at 6:20 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


I don't know that we have to do anything. But I hope that 'more nuanced personalities' is code for 'we're slowly iterating away from M&Ms as perpetually horny candibals.' It's been weird.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:24 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Well done M&M marketing team for choosing the ultimate cynical 2022 ad campaign strategy. I truly never think about M&Ms but they've been freaking unavoidable on the internet this week. Gettin that mindshare!!! Startin them conversations!!!
posted by potrzebie at 6:24 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


I just they would stop graphically killing the orange one. Especially with such childish delight.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:27 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Not a criticism of the post, but we do not.
posted by dumbland at 6:28 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I look forward to TikTok videos of right-wingers shooting bags of M&M's to show their disdain.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:29 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


As long as Green is still a trans lesbian and dating Brown, I'm okay with this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:44 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


I just they would stop

just wish, of course. Clearly I'm drowsy and need a chocolate-based snack of some sort...
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:47 PM on January 21


When I'm looking for nuance in my animated commercial mascots, I just stare into the dark, brooding eyes of the Kool-Aid Man.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:47 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]




This, of course, is a cynical ploy to drown out any news stories about their on-going lawsuits regarding slave/child labor in chocolate procurement.
posted by explosion at 7:01 PM on January 21 [23 favorites]


I would also just like to point out, for the record, that one cannot, in fact, bang an imaginary candy.

Try telling that to Mr. "Sexy and I Know It" Red M&M.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:17 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


The real reason they got rid of red M+M characters is that the color is really a mating display and the PTA got scared about what this was doing to kids' brains.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:18 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


As all Canadians know, the smart thing is to eat the red ones last.
posted by jb at 7:33 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


“I think we all win when we see more women in leading roles, so I’m happy to take on the part of supportive friend when they succeed,” the green M&M, who will now sport a pair of sneakers rather than the usual go-go boots, said on the promotional site.

really fucked up to imply that filthy sluts can't take on leadership roles

Ashley Feinberg responding to the heart of the matter, as usual.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:52 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


This is, of course, in preparation for the relaunch of the larger M&M Cinematic Universe. Every candy is going to have their own origin story film, with endless crossovers and (Cadbury, one presumes) Easter eggs. How they will film Green M&M in front of a green screen hasn’t been quite worked out yet, but watch very carefully in the climactic mêlée sequence in Better Red than Dead: The Milk of Human Chocolate for a cameo in which Mr. Owl counts nearly to three before throwing his Tootsie Pop Grenade into the core of the computer that manages the confection-based ecosystem of the land of Dairy Queen. Of course, you’ll have to have seen Melts in Your Hand II and Heart of Almond if you want to follow the plot at all and understand how it ties in with the canon of The Book of Boba Tea.

Leonard Malted gives it two and a half nuts.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:07 PM on January 21 [31 favorites]


we have to care about the M&M mascots

Don't tell me what to do.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


pepsi blue, orange, yellow, green, red, & brown
posted by glonous keming at 8:31 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Telling me I can’t bang an imaginary candy just means I’m bumping “kill the sun” down one spot on the old to do, but I do not expect this to impede that timeline overly much.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:32 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]




If you'd seen what I've seen coming from the minds of furry artists, the whole "you can't bang an imaginary candy" thing might as well just stop here. Don't make do image searches. I have an entire run of images of a giant horse man banging skittles I can post here, and I LITERALLY AM NOT JOKING.
posted by hippybear at 8:41 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


I am deeply offended by the erasure of go-go boot representation.

/queer, OBVIOUSLY
posted by desuetude at 8:56 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


They'll still all be mostly butt-ass naked. Meee-owww!

The blank expressions, where he pauses to contemplate the sheer oddity of the phrase he's just uttered, are my favorite bits. Absolutely masterful.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:01 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


BLUE: What they told who?

RED: What they told TAN, company man! Tan! You never even asked around, did you?

YELLOW: What's the use, Red?

RED: Naw, I'm done with this. I'm done. I said TAN, you dumbshit. You goon. You fucking SCAB.

BLUE: Who was Tan?

RED: Tan was a goddamned M&M. A real M&M, a natural, you fucking SKITTLE.

BLUE: Whoa, whoa—

RED: A real M&M who got stabbed in the back by Upstairs, so you could step over the dead body.

BLUE: They just told me they had a job open.

RED: [Silence]

BLUE: I had an audition!

RED: You had a rigged tryout. You were FAN SERVICE.


(From Tom Scocca's blog, Indignity. It goes on.)
posted by Ghidorah at 9:33 PM on January 21 [17 favorites]


that's so cool and woke and cute and definitely on brand for a company that's currently spending millions as the defendant of a lawsuit accusing them and other conglomerates of knowingly employing child slave labor, a practice that they had pledged to eliminate two decades ago but apparently still see too much profit from to stop
posted by paimapi at 9:58 PM on January 21 [19 favorites]


Apparently Tucker Carlson is upset that the female anthropomorphic candies have less sexy footwear.
posted by Selena777 at 10:03 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]


and it's so cool that they successfully were able to set the legal precedent that corporations should be allowed to have some child enslavement in their process cuz it happened overseas, see, so these American founded and run companies making decisions in America can't be held liable for the stuff they do elsewhere

it's so nice that we can make tongue in cheek comments about their marketing, upping their engagement KPIs, while all of this happens. the lead conversions from these organic conversations on social media really does matter in the long run!
posted by paimapi at 10:10 PM on January 21 [16 favorites]


I just stare into the dark, brooding eyes of the Kool-Aid Man.

What kind of madman would smash through bricks knowing they are made of glass?
posted by Literaryhero at 10:29 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


My personal mascot love will forever go to the Energizer Bunny. He keeps going...and going...and going....
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:44 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


So what you're saying is, there are more than just the red one and the yellow one?
posted by biffa at 11:44 PM on January 21


"Miserable, non-binary candy is all we deserve" — Tucker Carlson

Implying that he has heretofore successfully assigned binary genders to all his confectionery.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:22 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


>So what you're saying is, there are more than just the red one and the yellow one?
So much more, according to the furrklore. In the UK we only see two in the adverts (Red and Yellow) and maybe the rest are "having supply chain problems" or excluded at the border for being wronguns or something.
posted by k3ninho at 2:51 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Bill Hicks was right
posted by DreamerFi at 3:03 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Can they make them taste better next? I loved eating M&Ms as a kid, but then lost my ability to digest chocolate for twenty years. Now when I try them, they taste sour and bitter. Not sweet or tasty at all. Forget the old colors, I want the old flavor back.
posted by Servo5678 at 4:10 AM on January 22


Carlson doesn’t give a damn about the candy being made less sexy. If it was the opposite, he’d be screaming about immoral lifestyles being force fed (heh) to the nation in the guise of candy. It’s literally anything that he can yell about that will generate anger among his viewers, none of whom actually gave a damn about the candy and the characters yesterday, and who will all forget it when their outrage is directed at the next thing.

It would be nice if any of that outrage was directed towards Mars and their child slave labor practices, but Tucky isn’t about to start giving a shit about a little thing like human rights.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:45 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


If you have not gloried in Vinny Thomas's take (already linked above but I gotta re-link because hilarious) - please give it a watch.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:50 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I would also just like to point out, for the record, that one cannot, in fact, bang an imaginary candy. "Nice shoes, wanna fuck?" is not going to work here.

Rule 34 says “Hold my beer…”
posted by Thorzdad at 7:27 AM on January 22


Why no chartreuse or paisley m&m's?
posted by sammyo at 7:29 AM on January 22


They're terrible chocolate anyway. Do I really have to care about these corporate mascots? Did I care about Mr. Peanut getting killed and coming back as a baby? I did not.

It *is* amusing to see the reaction to this becoming "did you know this terrible candy is made with child labor". It's still terrible goddamn candy.
posted by egypturnash at 7:37 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


This is similar to discovering that people have strong opinions about the McDonald's characters. I watched a lifetime worth of commercial TV as a kid, and climbed in a hundred fibreglass hamburger cop figures. . . and it never really occurred to me they had names, much less stories or personalities of any kind. Even the Chuck E. Cheese characters - which I sat and listened to tell me stories and sing songs for hours - are all just a complete blur.

M&Ms are even less memorable. I wouldn't have been certain that they used animated characters at all. I can't tell if I'm just weird, or if the people involved in marketing have absolutely no sense of perspective. Or if this is all cooked up just to remind people that M&Ms exist or distract from more important headlines.

I'm trying to think of a marketing character that has any memorable traits at all. Despite my dislike of the company, The Noid actually succeeded. And, I guess, the Lucky Charms and Tricks characters. That's kind of it. Even then, it's pretty thin.
posted by eotvos at 7:40 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Or if this is all cooked up just to remind people that M&Ms exist

Like, literally, that is what "marketing" does. And look! It worked!
posted by hippybear at 7:43 AM on January 22


I can't tell if I'm just weird, or if the people involved in marketing have absolutely no sense of perspective.

Having worked for a marketing company for eight years (in a non-marketing capacity), I can answer this question for you.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:58 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I’m ashamed that no one here has mentioned the California Raisins….
posted by njohnson23 at 8:58 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I was born in the late sixties and watched a shit ton of tv and ate lots of candy, but as an adult don’t have commercial TV and I was only vaguely aware that M&Ms had humanoid mascots. Is this a recent development ? /climbs back on velocipede
posted by freecellwizard at 9:07 AM on January 22


OK. Let me try to care. When I was a kid, I tried to understand the world through the tools I had, one of which was TV. When I watched cartoons and associated ads, I was learning about culture and norms. Animals were default male, and if there was a cartoon girl, she was the "tomboy" in a group of boys. Mothers didn't have jobs. Scientists were old men. And so on. Therefore, possibly it makes a difference to little girls if a female character can just wear regular sneakers. Will the girl imagine the green M and M with an active lifestyle including a healthy diet, supportive friends, a good job?

No, sorry, I am unable to imagine the people behind this campaign worrying about anything but forcing that girl to eat more candy.
posted by acrasis at 9:23 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I’m ashamed that no one here has mentioned the California Raisins….

I'm old enough, I remember when they started out as a boyband, The California Grapes. But then César Chavez got involved somehow and they broke up for a while because of the boycott.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Mars or whoever owns M&Ms are surely dickbags, and this is surely cynical, but can't we take a moment to *also* enjoy the incel tears? I promise my well of hate is deep enough for both.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:00 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Go-go boots? Cocoa boots, surely.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:55 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]




Rolling Stone: Let the Green M&M Be a Nasty Little Slut
For those familiar with the iconography of the green M&M, this change is nothing more than tectonic. I imagine it is similar to how the people of Wittenberg must have felt watching Martin Luther nail his 95 Theses of the Protestant Reformation to the church door. But it is also a major error on Mars Wrigley’s part, because the green M&M being a dirty slut, as signified by her iconic white go-go boots, is precisely what has engendered her a devoted fan base, particularly among similarly libidinous women and gay men who have embraced the character. Consider, for instance, this ad where she does erotic ASMR for no reason other than to give the male M&Ms a massive boner, then feigns ignorance at the impact her performance has. Can we, or should we, attempt to put a cap on such virulent, untrammeled female sexuality? Can you stop the wind from blowing? Can you prevent a dog from vomiting after eating too much cheese? Can you keep Twitter libs from being self-righteous about adhering to COVID protocols? No, you cannot.

The green M&M has spent decades building her brand as a horny, sexy bitch, and for what? For her creators to give her Larry David footwear in the name of feminism? For Mars Wrigley to give themselves pats on the back and big fat fucking raises at the next corporate retreat in Palo Alto? Guess what: the green M&M is a feminist, and she’s a dirty slut. We are real, and we exist, and we refuse to tolerate this disgusting attempt at erasure. We are given so little, and we have tolerated so much. Let the green M&M keep her go-go boots. Let her get blackout and suck dick in the bathroom at Acme on a Wednesday. This is what we want. This is what we deserve. This is what she deserves.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:33 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


I definitely think this is about distracting from the child slavery, and that talking about anything but the child slavery is pretty much going along with what the marketing team intended. Nothing done to cartoon characters is more important than the child slavery. Thinkpieces about these nonexistent entities that aren't real are thinkpieces that aren't about the child slaves, who are very real. Associating m&m with cartoon clothing controversies is taking up brain space that could be spent on associating them with child slavery. The way people should discuss all m&m related ventures is as follows:

going forward, their iconic child-slavery-funded M&M characters will have more nuanced child-slavery-funded personalities." Most of the child-slavery-linked M&M characters are having their personalities changed. The female ones will have their shoes changed. Is this a thing we need to also get angry about in 2022 while child slavery is still being practiced, to have a less sexy green M&M funded by child slavery?

(I feel like the question answers itself one properly phrased)
posted by Cozybee at 3:38 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that child slavery was an issue with cocoa production as a whole, like the metals used in cell phones. Is that inaccurate?
posted by Selena777 at 4:06 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Representation Mathers.
posted by The genius who rejected Anno's budget proposal. at 1:20 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I definitely think this is about distracting from the child slavery

Kind of ironic that I’ve seen far more people posting about the child slavery issue in response to the M&Ms announcement than I did when the Supreme Court kicked the Nestle lawsuit to the curb.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:32 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


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