Why A&W pees its cartoon bear after M&M’s Spokescandies slip

Why A&W pees its cartoon bear after M&M’s Spokescandies slip

  • Finance
  • January 25, 2023
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M&M’S takes a “break” from Spokescandies

M&M’s puts Spokescandies on “indefinite pause” 01:38

A&W Restaurants didn’t shy away from the online uproar over M&M’s decision to pause its animated feature Spokescandies.

Mars, which owns M&M’s, publicly admitted this week that “even a candy’s shoes can polarize” after drawing criticism and even ridicule for changing the look of the animated candies, including swapping out the green M&M’s Go-go boots versus sneakers.

Don’t let a gang of candy-coated chocolates outshine you, A&W tweeted on Tuesday that it had decided to dress its previously pantsless bear character — dubbed “Rooty the Great Root Bear” — in jeans because “even a mascot’s lack of pants can be polarizing.” The tweet has since been viewed more than 4 million times and received 46,000 likes.

A message from A&W. pic.twitter.com/WGdF12TSyg

— A&W Restaurants (@awrestaurants) January 24, 2023

In fact, Rooty doesn’t experience a change of clothes. The tweet was just for fun, not to mention an opportunity for some tongue-in-cheek marketing, A&W told CBS MoneyWatch. “Now is a good time to say this is a joke,” the company tweeted Wednesday.

Sure, many Twitter users commenting on Rooty’s new look recognized it as a playful jab, with one social media user quipping that the mascot’s jeans were a “paw-laring” theme. But some people seemed genuinely put off. “Wakeness has no limits,” tweeted another.

“Our social media post yesterday was purely a joke and was meant to be a joking banter with the M&M’s team,” said Liz Bazner, spokeswoman for A&W. “We have no plans to actually change our mascot’s current outfit and had no idea we’d hit a nerve with such a large audience.”


Rooty (pictured above) has been the cartoon mascot for A&W Restaurants since 1963. Jokingly, he got a change of clothes (and wore jeans) in January 2023. A&W Restaurants

A&W is a privately owned fast food chain known for its root beer floats. The company has around 600 locations in the US, of which around 100 are attached to gas stations or convenience stores. Rooty has been the chain’s mascot since 1963.

Bazner acknowledged that A&W was hoping to ride M&M’s coattails for some social media attention. But the company’s Twitter account has been inundated with private messages from people opposed to wearing rooty pants, she said.

“We love Rooty the way he is,” Bazner said. “It would also be very expensive to add jeans to all of our digital and physical assets.”

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Christopher J Brooks

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