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  • Writer's pictureCCA Pulse Magazine

The M&M Rebranding: A Direct Attack on American Society | Addie Picker

Disclaimer: This article is entirely satirical and does not represent the opinions of Pulse Magazine, CCA, or SDUHSD as a whole.

Known for their classicality, simplicity, and multidimensionality, M&Ms have stood as a staple to the American candy industry for over 80 years. Initially created for the United States military during World War II, M&Ms proved to be useful during times of battle as their candy coating protected the chocolate from melting under high temperatures. However, the brand soon took a more playful turn, bringing the candy to life and debuting their first M&M “characters” in 1954 for commercial purposes. The prominence of the brand has skyrocketed since then, overwhelming television channels (international as well) with commercials featuring an array of candy characters with different colors, styles, and personalities. Along with the brand, this imaginative cast of M&M characters have also faced a rise to fame, becoming a beloved symbol of the advertising and consumer industry in capitalist America. Given the key role these characters play in American society, it is now understandable that the recent rebranding of the M&M cast has brought devastation to the lives of many across the map, including those of kids, adults, elders, and, of course, Fox News anchors.

Citizens across the US were thrown into a period of sheer uncertainty at the beginning of the new year when Mars, Incorporated announced the change in appearance, clothing, and personality of their popular M&M candy characters. This decision, made with the goal to promote a more accepting and empowering message to the public, has many wondering how and if American society will prevail. After all, what good has ever come from inclusivity?

Though some changes to the characters are more minuscule and might not yet be cause for national panic, this is unfortunately not the case for all. The first subject of concern to the rebranding would be the incredibly obvious and appalling change in height of the high heels worn by the brown M&M, typically known as the businesswoman. This shameful adjustment of appearance is almost a disgrace to the brand and is a direct target on the public. How dare they promote feminist empowerment in the workforce and depict a stronger, less sexualized professional woman? Tucker Carlson, a news anchor known for his exceptional critical thinking and credibility, provided his own commentary on the matter during a recent segment on Fox News. Carlson, who described the brown M&M´s new high heels as “less sexy,” stated that “M&Ms will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity.” Carlson has a point - it does seem that the main concern of multimillion-dollar corporations is to protect their personified pieces of chocolate from middle-aged men.

Moving on, the rebranding of the green M&M, generally referred to on social media as the “sexy” one, might be even more appalling than that of the brown. Robbed of the high heels altogether, the green M&M was reimagined to wear ordinary sneakers rather than its original knee-high heeled boots. Claimed by Mars, Incorporated that the adjustment was made to promote the individuality, confidence, and independence of the green character, anyone can see through this corporate lie; we all know that the decision was truly made solely to rob the public of its pleasure of staring at a “sexy” piece of anthropomorphic candy.

The last point of concern is the emphasis placed on mental health through the, once again, very obvious change in facial expression of the orange M&M. In reference to the transformation of the character´s expression from an uneasy face to a slightly more uneasy face, the M&M marketing team stated that “Orange is one of the most relatable characters with Gen-Z, which is also the most anxious generation.” This effort by a large, influential corporation to shed light on stress and anxiety is an incredible overstep of power; everyone knows mental health is an over-discussed and insignificant topic in society, right? Thankfully, Tucker Carlson was able to place a humorous twist on the disaster, joking that “the orange M&M does appear very anxious,” and relating back to his other rebranding concerns: “Maybe he doesn't like all the ugly new shoes he sees around him. Maybe he liked the sexy boots. Maybe the orange M&M is a secret sexist himself.”

It is no secret that the abrupt and devastating change to the beloved collection of pixels on a television screen has left American society in ruins. However, it is important that moving forward, we, as a society, work together to overcome these incredible obstacles. Such a hit to the American national identity will not be an easy recovery, however with time and growth, we can begin to move forward towards healing.

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