Don’t try to look for M&M’s at the candy counter – starting today you buy Ma&Ya’s. Just days after retiring its popular — and unexpectedly divisive — “spokecandies,” the world-famous candy brand has also retired its world-famous name. New spokeswoman 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, I do — it only makes sense that I’m renaming America’s favorite chocolate candy ‘Ma&Ya’s,'” the Saturday night live brave says at the 15 second point. Rudolph goes on to reveal the personal reason for that particular change: “It’s a play on my name.” (See the ad above.)
That’s not the only change Rudolph has instituted since Red, Yellow, Purple, and the rest of the animated spokesmen were kicked to the curb. Every single Ma & Ya will feature her face in place of the traditional “M” that defined the era of M & M’s.
“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 you painted right on top of them.”
Life moves pretty fast in the candy world: Rudolph was only announced on Monday as the new spokesperson for M&M, a change that followed complaints from the conservative media about the updated designs of the cast of different spokesmen. Fox News host Tucker Carlson was particularly unnerved by the brand’s “fresh, modern take” on characters, apparently complaining that the female candies—purple, green, and brown—lacked sex appeal.
Though social media critics blamed Carlson for M&M’s casting change, a spokesperson for the brand told Yahoo Entertainment that the Rudolph-led campaign had been in the works for some time. “It’s not a reaction, but rather it’s in support of our M&M’s brand, which we will always continue to evolve to bring people together through the power of fun.”
The spokesperson also confirms that this week’s announcements mark the start of 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 commercial among many other star-studded commercials playing during Fox’s telecast of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
Meanwhile, the supposedly retired spokesmen are busying themselves in other places. Orange has launched 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 colorful original cast of M&M spokespersons are, at the moment, pursuing personal passions,” says the M&M spokesperson. “Find out what M&M spokespersons will be doing in the coming weeks before, during and after Super Bowl LVII.”
As further proof that Ma&Ya’s will be short-lived, the brand is directing fans to its official website to purchase limited-run supplies ahead of the Super Bowl. Based on Twitter’s reaction, it looks like there will be some takers, though not everyone agrees.
Super Bowl LVII airs February 12 on Fox