Creativity Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

M&M's turns to Lil Nas X to sweeten its inclusivity push

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By Kendra Clark | Senior Reporter

May 31, 2022 | 5 min read

Mars-owned chocolate brand M&M’s is putting music, entertainment and inclusivity at the heart of its new brand platform.

Iconic American candy M&M’s today announced it’s tapped rapper and meme god Lil Nas X to serve as the new face of its brand in an effort to “harness the power of music and connect with fans in a fresh way.”

The new partnership arrives just four months after the Mars-owned brand debuted a more inclusive look, which included toning down the ‘sexiness’ of the green M&M character — a move that sparked eye rolls and memes galore. The effort, however, like today’s appointment of Lil Nas X as the brand’s celebrity ambassador, speaks to M&M’s recently updated brand purpose, which centers on creating a world in which all people feel that they belong.

M&M's candy background with Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X will work with M&M's to develop a new brand platform focused on music, entertainment and inclusivity / Mars

"In the world Mars wants tomorrow, society is inclusive. And through the M&M'S brand we're committed to inspiring moments of connection and fun by encouraging a deeper sense of belonging," said Allison Miazga-Bedrick, senior brand director at Mars Wrigley, in a statement.

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She went on to explain why music will play an integral role in advancing this vision: "Music is one of the most powerful tools to bring people together. Like our iconic M&M's brand, music sparks nostalgia, memories, and fun and we are thrilled to be able to partner with one of the most trailblazing artists in the world, Lil Nas X, to help us further cement M&M's role within entertainment."

Lil Nas X has established himself as one of the zeitgeist's favorite advocates for free expression and individualism. It's a message evidenced in much of his music as well as his brand partnerships. As M&M's leans into diversity- and inclusion-focused messaging, the fit feels right.

"M&M's is iconic and I'm a huge fan of the brand," Lil Nas X said in a statement. "I'm excited to work with them on some really cool projects this year that are as colorful as they are."

The brand will work hand-in-hand with the pop star to “lay the groundwork for a new brand platform” focused on authentic connection, fun and inclusivity — while celebrating great music, per today’s announcement. The partnership will come to life through a handful of initiatives slated to roll out later this year.

To further entwine its brand with the music and entertainment industry, M&M’s is debuting a number of music-focused initiatives to support its new brand platform. Most recently, the confectioner teamed up with NBCUniversal on NBC’s new ‘American Song Contest’ show; it built a branded lounge for contestants to use before and after their performances. Plus, this summer, M&M’s plans to create activations at a number of music festivals around the country — and will invite fans to get in on the fun from home through custom digital experiences.

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