Performative brand activism is a problem that haunts our world. We don’t just want to see brands talking the talk, but walking the walk. But, on the other hand, there is something to be said for beloved parts of our world taking a stand. And that’s what M&Ms are doing. Personally, we’d like to see a more actionable part of this announcement as well, such as new charity work, programs and grants, or other diversity commitments. But we’re glad to see diversity and inclusion validated in this way. Especially in a way that may speak first and foremost to children.
According to an article we saw on CBS News, the M&Ms characters are undergoing a transformation. And at the heart of this evolution is the desire to portray a “more dynamic, progressive world.” And the hope is to spotlight “personalities, rather than… gender.”
The official M&Ms website shares, “Fun can cross borders & boundaries and can bridge differences & divides. Best of all, there is always more of it when you aren’t the only one having it. Our ambition is to upend the expected, breakthrough barriers, and discover the little joys shared in everyday life. Imagine a world with less judgment & more connection & consistent laughter.”
This will include removing prefixes from character names, featuring all kinds of M&M body sizes, and highlighting ideas of kindness and camaraderie. There will even be an anxious M&M who “can’t leave the house without… Panicking.” However, Orange “embrace[s] his true self, worries and all.” Relatable, Orange. Relatable.
In today’s age, common parts of life like anxiety should get talked about. And allowing universally known characters to do it makes for a first step. But honestly, we’d like to see some gender-fluid M&Ms. Maybe some who engage in queer romantic relationships. And like we mentioned, something a bit more actionable than just a redesign. Only time will tell if the new versions of our iconic M&Ms make a difference.
But for now, you can meet all the transformed M&Ms characters on the M&Ms website.