- M&M’s this month will start selling candy packs that exclusively feature its female brand mascots, according to a news release.
- Brown, Green and a newer Purple character are united for the first time on packaging that rolls out ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8. They appear upside down above copy that reads, “Supporting women, flipping the status quo.”
- Consumers who visits the confectionery marketer’s website from Jan. 5-15 can submit a trailblazing woman in their lives for a chance to be featured on M&M’s platforms and receive grant funds. Creator partnerships also factor into the effort that shows M&M’s continuing to invest in a more purposeful positioning.
M&M’s looks to champion women who buck convention with the packaging tailored for IWD. This marks the first united representation of the company’s three female mascots, or “spokescandies,” and continues a transformation the marketer commenced last January that puts a bigger focus on inclusivity and belonging.
With the pivot, M&M’s has sought to shake up its existing cast of characters, including a redesign for Green to wear more grounded attire, swapping out her go-go boots for tennis sneakers. In September, M&M’s debuted Purple to serve as another banner carrier for “acceptance and inclusivity,” executives previously told Marketing Dive. Creative agency BBDO New York has helped guide the pivot.
The IWD play is meant to better familiarize consumers with Purple, putting the mascot not only on the front of packaging, but also as a candy variant inside for the first time. Purple will additionally feature in a Super Bowl commercial planned for February, the brand previously announced. M&M’s is at the same time working with a team of six creators to spotlight Purple, Green and Brown through original content.
Each sale of the IWD packs puts $1 toward organizations She Is The Music and We Are Moving the Needle for up to a $500,000 total. M&M’s will give up to $300,000 more to the Female Founder Collective, Geena Davis Institute On Gender and Media and other initiatives, including grants for the user-submitted women who are flipping the status quo. Ten winners will be selected with help from the M&M'S FUNd Advisory Council and revealed on IWD.
Initial responses to M&M’s refresh were mixed, with some consumers viewing the gestures toward inclusivity as surface-level and others decrying the shift as a concession to “wokeness.” M&M’s “Flipping the Status Quo” campaign could generate attention and potentially further controversy as women’s rights are challenged. The subject has been a hot-button discussion in the U.S. following the overturn of Roe v. Wade last year, while ongoing protests in Iran are being closely watched on the global stage.