M&M’s rainbow rebrand pushes the buttons of consumers of every color
Confectionary brand M&M’s has overhauled its identity with a custom typeface and redesign to show that the button-shaped treats belong to everyone.
The candy shell chocolate brand has employed Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) for the inclusivity drive, which sees the Mars-owned staple emphasize the ampersand sign as a symbol of togetherness, while tilting the logo on to an even keel from its previous diagonal.
This intervention dovetails with an expanded color palette intended to evoke the visual riot associated with ‘pouring out a pack of M&M’s.’
Underpinning all these changes is a custom typeface, a first for the brand, after JKR engaged font specialists Monotype to convey a sense of fun through the use of an ‘eclectic mix of weights and widths.’ Explaining the ‘inclusive, welcoming and unifying’ new look, JKR said: “The real joy is in the details – there are ink traps that hint to smiles and ball terminals that reference M&M’s classic, circular shape.”
The revised identity will take pride of place not only on the iconic product itself but in retail environments and associated campaigns to introduce the public to the new look.
Early reactions from fans to the changes on social media have been muted, with some questioning whether the brand risks losing touch with the self-deprecating humor it has become known for.
A6: I grew up on those M&M’s commercials and I have mixed feelings. The human stories and self-deprecating humor are what always drew me in and now I fear that the characters are taking too serious of a turn…#PopChat— Syed سيد (@West_Syed) January 21, 2022
Others pointed to the need for actions, not words, questioning the need to rationalize the changes as a form of social good.
What I’d do differently if I where M&Ms is not to talk about it. Just do it. A bit like using less, or environmentally friendly, packaging - just do it because it’s the right thing to do. Don’t try to sell your brand based on you doing it.— Chris Bartley (@cambartley) January 22, 2022
Perhaps the most damning response was that customers just don’t care that much about the brand.
Honestly, was this even necessary? I understand the company’s desire to do this but do we as consumers even care that much about M&M characters? They aren’t producing a reality show for them. https://t.co/Ic1HjdQTwf— Alice Fuller (@Sheersocial) January 20, 2022
In a statement, Mars wrote: “Studies show our desire to belong is as strong as our desire to be loved, and that desire is common for all people irrespective of culture, race, ethnicity, geography or location.”
The anthropomorphic M&M’s characters, long associated with the brand, have also been given a refresh by BBDO. The dropping of the Green M&M’s ‘sexy’ stilettos in favor of trainers has drawn criticism from some quarters that the brand has gone ‘woke.’
There is an effect of the M&M wokening that we all underestimated and it's glorious, conservatives are going absolutely nuts. https://t.co/kNj7mJl8lK— Giulio del Bufalo (@buffalogiu) January 22, 2022
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