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Here’s the M&M’s Super Bowl commercial that caused an internet meltdown

So many people were mad!

“MA&YA’s” clam flavored candy wrapper from M&M Super Bowl 2023 commercial Image: Mars Wrigley
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

A saga has come to an end: After a year of waffling over representation in the M&M’s “spokescandies” mix, provoking the ire of Tucker Carlson, poking fun at the controversy in a January Twitter campaign, then calming the outraged internet by just admitting all the hullabaloo was hype for an upcoming Super Bowl campaign, Mars Wrigley has finally unveiled said Super Bowl commercial — and it’s all very strange!

Maya Rudolph stars in the spot, which rebrands the candy as “ma&ya’s candy coated clam bites.” There is a great deal of clam imagery, as well as Rudolph doing her patented smizing in a way reminiscent of her Diana Ross SNL bit. As 30 seconds of not-sports, it’s surreal fluff. As the button on a bigger cultural conversation, it’s a bit of a “that’s it?”

Why was this a thing? A little over a year ago, Mars Wrigley updated the look of the M&M’s characters in hopes of making the colorful talking candies “more dynamic, progressive world.” As if the characters were, like, The Avengers or something, the new versions of the characters were also given elaborate new backstories, and the company made the green M&M less “sexy”. People flipped out. Then they flipped out again. Then they kept flipping out until the 2023 Super Bowl. Now here we are.

Here’s a rundown of the entire saga. And stay tuned for any further updates from the world of “ma&ya’s” — who can say if any of this is really over. As we see in the commercial, the red M&M is crying for help. I feel that.

Update: Mars Wrigley has announced that, no duh, the M&M’s have been reinstated as the spokescandies for M&M’s. Nature is healing.

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