Can a group of multicolored candy characters change the world? The marketing minds behind M&M’s certainly hope so.
The brand just announced its multi-pronged approach to “creating a world where everyone feels they belong and society is inclusive,” and it apparently starts with makeovers for each of those colorful M&M’s characters that star in the brand’s popular commercials.
The candy company decided to give each of the six characters a “fresh, modern take” on their traditional look and “more nuanced personalities to underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling.”
The blink-or-you’ll-miss-it design changes are kind of like looking at one of those “Can you spot the difference?” pictures, and they’re not immediately noticeable. But upon closer inspection, a few notable differences become clear.
The biggest — and perhaps most controversial — change is that the green M&M, who typically sports her signature white go-go boots, has stepped into a pair of “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence.”
Brown, the other female character, has also slipped into something a little more comfy — block heels, instead of her signature stiletto. She and the green M&M will also have a more friendly relationship than they’ve previously had, “together throwing shine and not shade.”
Online, people joked about the idea of these arbitrary character changes creating a more inclusive society — and many wanted these personified candies to stay the same.
“Today on Fresh Air,” tweeted Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR politics correspondent. “The green M&M, newly liberated from her white boots, lets loose. She talks social reproduction theory, how patriarchy and capitalism violently reinforce each other, and what a sexy lady M&M says about gender as a construct. Stay with us.”
“I am a single issue voter and my issue: KEEP THE GREEN M&M A HOT SEXY LADY,” tweeted another person.
The other M&M characters also got slight personality updates, and fans can get to know them better by reading their new Q&As on the brand website.
Of note, the orange M&M has officially acknowledged his anxiety and learned to “embrace his true self, worries and all.”
“finally an M&M with mental health struggles,” digital creator Matt Bernstein joked.
In an effort to represent all different shapes and sizes, the candy manufacturer will also be shaking up the look of the actual candies.
“M&M’S has long been committed to creating colorful fun for all, and this purpose serves as a more concrete commitment to what we’ve always believed as a brand: that everyone has the right to enjoy moments of happiness, and fun is the most powerful way to help people feel that they belong,” Cathryn Sleight, Chief Growth Officer at Mars Wrigley said in a press release.
One Twitter user, however, had another idea for how to make the candy more inclusive.
“In an effort to make them more relatable and inclusive, the Mars Candy corporation has confirmed that M&M’s crunchy shell ‘is their skin’ and that when you bite into them ‘they feel immense pain,'” tweeted writer Rafi Schwartz.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:
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