Maya Rudolph made her debut as M&M’s new spokesperson during a Super Bowl ad for “Ma&Ya’s Candy Coated Clam Bites” but was promptly replaced with the original candy mascots in a postgame “press conference.”
Rudolph harked to the “Candy Coated Clam Bites” in the first ad, along with human actors dressed in the original spokescandies’ colors. The red M&M briefly appeared behind Rudolph, holding a “HELP” sign.
But her stint as the face of the brand was short-lived. In a follow-up ad, the original spokescandies staged a press conference to announce their return.
“This is what I was made for,” the purple M&M said during the spot. “I mean, as a walking, talking candy, my options are pretty limited.”
The orange M&M, who was rebranded as a mental health advocate last year, mentioned his anxiety.
The “spokescandies” that had long represented the brand were embroiled in controversy after M&Ms revamped the characters’ appearances to be more “inclusive” last year.
The two female M&M’s became a flashpoint in the culture war because their outfits were swapped out for less traditionally feminine attire. The brown M&M’s stilettos were lowered to sensible pumps, and the green M&M’s iconic heeled go-go boots were replaced with white sneakers. Many social media users, however, jokingly demanded the return of “sexy M&M’s.”
The mascots received backlash again this year following the brand’s “Flip the Status Quo” campaign, which supported women in creative industries with limited-edition bags featuring the female “spokescandies.” Fox News host Tucker Carlson denounced the “woke M&M’s” in a recent broadcast.
Rudolph replaced the original mascots last month when M&M’s announced it would take an “indefinite pause” from using its “polarizing” anthropomorphized candy mascots in favor of a “spokesperson America can agree on.” Many online immediately speculated the announcement was a bit for a Super Bowl ad.
The spokescandies said Sunday they are back for good. “I can’t believe we were actually put on pause,” the red M&M said.
Daysia Tolentino contributed.