Some have compared the M&M news to a publicity stunt Planters pulled off in 2020 when he “killed” Mr. Peanuts ahead of a Super Bowl ad.
NEW YORK. Mars says it is suspending its M&M’s brand and has engaged actor and comedian Maya Rudolph in marketing efforts, including a Super Bowl ad campaign.
The news comes three weeks before M&Ms are set to return to the Super Bowl with ads after being absent last year. Mars did not reveal any other creative details about the ad.
The Super Bowl is the biggest advertising stage where famous brands go all out and pay millions for a 30-second ad to capture the attention of over 100 million viewers who watch the game live. Many spend millions more on marketing campaigns leading up to the big event.
Mars updated M&Ms last year. which are presented in red, green, orange, yellow, brown and blue to give them more nuance. Green M&Ms have ditched high-heeled boots in favor of sneakers, while brown candies have opted for lower heels over stilettos. Some fans were not happy with the changes and took to social media to complain.
In a message widely shared on social media on Monday, Mars said it was taking an “indefinite” hiatus from the use of speakers.
“Now we understand that even candy shoes can cause polarization,” the statement said. “That was the last thing M&M’s wanted as we’re going to bring people together.”
Mars did not say how long the pause would last. Some compared the news to a publicity stunt Planters pulled off in 2020 when they announced they were “killing” their favorite rep, Mr. Peanuts, before a game.
“M&Ms’ announcement that they are ditching longtime and (mostly) beloved mascots due to peer pressure is newsworthy,” said Steve Merino, chief creative officer at ad agency Aloysius Butler & Clark. “At the same time, many brands are using their Super Bowl moment as a chance to pull off a publicity stunt. Remember when the Planters staged getting rid of Mr. Peanuts?
In the case of the Planters, the ploy did not go smoothly. Nearly two weeks before the game, the Planters teased their Super Bowl ad by releasing a teaser that showed Mr. Peanuts’ mascot appearing to have been killed. But when Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash, the marketing ploy suddenly seemed tactless, so Planters paused pre-game advertising. The actual Super Bowl commercial was relatively harmless: Little Mr. Peanuts showed up at the funeral. The Planters are also returning to the Super Bowl this year for the first time since 2020 with an ad featuring Mr. Peanuts.
Super Bowl LVII will take place on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and will air on Fox.