M&M’s Characters Get a Makeover

Originally Posted on convenience.org

NEWARK, N.J.—Mars Inc. is updating its M&M’s characters to better reflect the diverse and nuanced world of its fans, reports Ad Age. The characters are receiving updated personalities to “underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling,” according to Mars.

The makeover recasts green as a confident and empowered female, toning down her temptress vibe and replacing her boots for stylish sneakers. Orange’s neurotic anxieties are embraced and appears to be geared toward a Gen Z audience, where Orange retains its core cautiousness and worry but is aware of these traits and doesn’t attempt to hide them.

Red won’t bully as much, and Yellow is now seen as someone with quiet wisdom and optimism. Brown is now going to team up with Green as a force supporting women, and Blue will bring lighthearted laughter, irony and fun to the group.

The M&M’s brand isn’t stopping at the characters. Mars has added emphasis on the ampersand, which will be “a distinctive element within the M&M’s logo that serves to connect the two Ms and demonstrate how the brand aims to bring people together,” according to Mars. It’s also updating its tone of voice to be more inclusive, welcoming and unifying.

Mars is committing to gender balanced leadership teams, running an independent annual diversity audit of its advertising and its role as vice chair of the unstereotype alliance, part of UN Women. The company is also promising to use the power of fun to include everyone, with a goal of increasing the sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025.

“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: Everyone has the right to enjoy moments of happiness, and fun is the most powerful way to help people feel that they belong," said Cathryn Sleight, chief growth officer at Mars Wrigley. "As one of the world's most iconic candy brands, who better to commit to a world with more moments of fun by increasing a sense of belonging around the globe than M&M'S?”

In November, M&M’s ranked as one of the top five best brands in America by YouGov, coming in at No. 5.

In a recent interview, Blas Maquivar, president of global emerging markets for Mars Wrigley, said the company has accelerated the building of digital capabilities across its markets, and it has transformed its portfolio to satisfy the consumer from that digital angle. In India, the company launched an online Snickers store in partnership with Swiggy, and it doubled down on its My M&M’S digital store, where customers can send their photograph or a loved one’s photograph and get it printed on M&M’S.

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