M&M's switch to Ma&Ya's is branding genius

M&M's logo crossed out with Ma&Ya written below
(Image credit: Ma&Ya's)

Just when we thought we were done caring about the branding of M&M's, the brand does something else to get people talking. The company recently announced it was dropping its 'spokescandies' because the desexualisation of the green M&M had upset people so much.

M&M's  told the world it had replaced the candies with comic Maya Rudolph. And now it has gone a step further, by changing its name completely. Goodbye M&M's, hello Ma&Ya's. In a video shared on social media, Maya Rudolph announces this change (see below), and the reaction has been, well, mixed. 

Some commenters were clued in to this being a stunt ("This is marketing genius!"), but others seemed genuinely upset. "I love her, but can we have the spokescandies back please! This is not fun anymore," said one Instagram user. There's even a petition of Change.org to bring back the spokescandies, although so far it hasn't attracted many signatures.

The brand has changed its name across social media as well as on its website . But is this brand genius or does it stink of desperation? Well, seeing as we're now all talking about M&M's, sorry, Ma&Ya's ahead of the Super Bowl, we have to hand it to the brand. Though at the end of the above spot, Rudolph says "it's a play on my name", which knocks a point off for us. The best campaigns don't require an explanation. We do like that Maya's face is now on the chocolates though (see below), and guess what? The special candies are already sold out. Another point to Ma&Ya's.

ma & ya & image of Maya Rudolph's face on a chocolate

We appreciate the illustration of Maya on the chocolates (Image credit: Ma&Ya's)

However, it seems that the spokescandies, and we're sure the original name, haven't really gone anywhere. "Rest assured, the characters are our official long-term spokescandies," a representative for the company told The New York Times. Apparently, the spokescandies are "spending some time pursuing their other passions" ahead of the Super Bowl (we can't imagine what "passions" some chocolates might have, but it's best not to dwell). And the bit that really doesn't surprise us? We should expect a commercial to resolve the matter at the Super Bowl, which will return "the characters right where they belong at the heart of the brand".

Ma&Ya's we applaud you. We really hope the ad doesn't disappoint. If you can't wait for the ad, you might want to go back to where this all started two years ago, and read our post on the original green M&M controversy.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.