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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 24, 2022 | 4 min read

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.

Others pointed to the need for actions, not words, questioning the need to rationalize the changes as a form of social good.

Perhaps the most damning response was that customers just don’t care that much about the brand.

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.’

Brand Purpose Mars Rebrand

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