M&M’s get a new name after Maya Rudolph replaces the brand’s ‘beloved spokescandies’

Don’t try looking for M&M’s at the candy counter: starting today, you’re shopping for Ma&Ya’s. Days after retiring its popular — and unexpectedly divisive — “spokescandies,” the world-famous candy brand has also retired its world-famous name. New spokesperson Maya Rudolph revealed the switch in an announcement video that premiered online Thursday.

“Since we all love M&M’s — and let’s face it, me — it only makes sense that I am renaming America’s favorite chocolate candies ‘Ma&Ya’s,'” the Saturday Night Live stalwart says in the 15-second spot. Rudolph goes on to reveal the personal reason for that particular change: “It’s a play on my name.” (Watch the ad above.)

That’s not the only change that Rudolph has instituted since Red, Yellow, Purple and the rest of the animated spokescandies got kicked to the curb. Each individual Ma&Ya will feature her face in place of the traditional “M” that defined the M&M’s era.

“I love M&M’s and you and I love me,” Rudolph said in another recent online ad. “That’s why I’m happy to announce that soon America’s favorite chocolate candy will have a picture of yours truly painted right on them.”

Life moves pretty fast in the candy world: Rudolph was only announced as the new M&M’s spokesperson on Monday, a change that followed conservative media-led complaints about the updated designs of the diverse spokescandies cast. Fox News host Tucker Carlson was particularly unnerved by the brand’s “fresh, modern take” on the characters, seemingly complaining that female candies — Purple, Green and Brown — lacked sex appeal.

Although social media critics blamed Carlson for M&M’s casting switch, a spokesperson for the brand told Yahoo Entertainment that the Rudolph-led campaign had been in the works for some time. “It isn’t a reaction to but rather is in support of our M&M’s brand, which we will always continue to evolve to bring people together through the power of fun.”

New M&M's spokesperson, Maya Rudolph, reveals the new name for the popular candy as part of the brand's Super Bowl campaign. (Photo: Mars Inc./YouTube)

New M&M’s spokesperson, Maya Rudolph, reveals the new name for the popular candy as part of the brand’s Super Bowl campaign. (Photo: Mars Inc./YouTube)

The spokesperson also confirms that this week’s announcements signal the kick-off for M&M’s Super Bowl campaign — something that had been widely suspected on Twitter. That means viewers can expect to see a Rudolph-led TV spot among the many other star-studded ads set to play during Fox’s telecast of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.

Meanwhile, the supposedly retired spokescandies are keeping busy in other venues. Orange dropped a Spotify playlist, while Yellow is taking to Instagram to try and become the new face of Snickers. And expect to see more unexpected candy-related cameos as the Super Bowl approaches. “The original colorful cast of M&M’s spokescandies are, at present, pursuing personal passions,” the M&M spokesperson says. “Check out what the M&M’s spokescandies are up to over the next few weeks before, during and after Super Bowl LVII.”

As further evidence that Ma&Ya’s will have a short shelf life, the brand is directing fans to its official site to purchase limited-run supplies ahead of the Super Bowl. Based on the Twitter reaction, it sounds like there will be some takers, although not everyone is in on the joke.

Super Bowl LVII airs Feb. 12 on Fox

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