Brand Strategy Social Media Mars

A&W trolls M&M’s by addressing Rooty the Great Root Bear’s ‘polarizing’ lack of pants


By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

January 25, 2023 | 5 min read

The root beer brand takes aim at M&M’s in a tongue-in-cheek social media post.

A&W logo in neon sign

A&W takes aim at M&M'S in a new social media post / Adobe Stock

A&W had a few words of its own to share after M&M’s viral announcement on Monday that it would be suspending the use of its candy mascots “indefinitely.”

M&M’s statement followed controversy over redesigns that included toning down the ‘sexiness’ of the green M&M.

A&W Restaurants yesterday posted a lookalike announcement, saying it too is re-evaluating the tenor of its mascot’s appearance.

In a Twitter post, the root beer brand said its beloved cartoon figure Rooty the Great Root Bear, who has served as the brand’s mascot for 60 years, will henceforth don a pair of jeans to temper any concerns of his former pantlessness.

“America, let’s talk,” began the A&W post – the same sentence used in M&M’s post on Monday. “Since 1963, Rooty the Great Root Bear has been our beloved spokesbear. We knew people would notice because he’s literally a six-foot-tall bear wearing an orange sweater. But now we get it – even a mascot’s lack of pants can be polarizing,” continued the post, nodding to M&M’s decision to address the controversy surrounding its green M&M’s shoes.

A&W goes on to say that Rooty will don a pair of jeans going forward. Unlike the Mars-owned candy brand, A&W assures fans that its iconic mascot isn’t going anywhere since he is “un-bear-ably cute and im-paw-ssible to replace.”

The move appears to have delighted the online masses – a stark difference from the derision the M&M’s announcement garnered from social media users this week. In response to A&W’s post yesterday, users expressed approval with messages such as, “Good satire is underrated these days. Well played!”

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Other users chipped in with satirical retorts of their own – writer and blogger Zack Hunt tweeted in response: “This is so deeply offensive. My great-grandfather died while wearing pants!! Have you no shame??”

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