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M&M Christmas commercial is 25

The heartwarming ad where Santa and the red chocolate candy both faint has been around for a quarter of a century.

By Cheryl E PrestonPublished about a year ago Updated 4 months ago 4 min read

M&M's and Santa: They do exist

You know it's really the holiday season when the commercial airs where the Hershey Kisses play We wish you a merry Christmas and you see the M&M ad where Red and Santa both faint. This classic is now 25 years old and still filled with wonder as Santa Claus is near the tree as Red and Yellow M&M's walk into the room. Red says "He does exist" and Santa replies "They do exist" and both faint. This implies that each believes the other is only a myth until they come face to face.

M&M's originated in the United States in 1941 and have been a best-seller worldwide for over 7 decades. They are also sold in more than 100 countries. M&M's was named for the two men who ran the companies that produced them. Forrest Mars Sr. and Bruce Murrie of Hershey's). During the 1960s the slogan for the candy was "M&Ms melt in your mouth, and not in your hand". This was proven wrong and I found out the hard way. On a hot day I closed my hand that was filled with the chocolate candy and all the colors melted. I was so disappointed.

M&M's Christmas commercial: Santa remains a mystery

In all the articles that I read about the M&Ms holiday commercial, I could not find the name of the man in the Santa suit anywhere. I find this interesting as there is a story going around the Internet about him. I don't know if it's true or an urban legend but here it is. According to UPROXX and other sources, the stuntman who donned the Santa suit refused upfront payment and instead chose residuals.

This means he makes about $5,000 to $10,000 each holiday season when the ad airs. I would think that in 25 years this man would have been identified or come forth and shared his own story. At any rate you can read about his alleged good fortune by clicking on the following link.

M&Ms: Holiday commercial might not have been made

Not everyone may be aware of this but between 1976 and 1987 red M&Ms were discontinued and replaced with orange. The reason they were pulled is because of the finding that red dye number 2 could be harmful. There was an outcry from consumers and red was reintroduced in 1987. It was also announced that the Mars company had never utilized the dye in question. If I remember correctly it was during these years when the holiday M&Ms were dark green and white. Had the red M&Ms not returned we might never have had the benefit of the delightful Christmas commercial.

Traditional Christmas colors are red and green and M&Ms markets these colors during the holidays as you can see from the above image. Some people wonder why a yellow was paired with the red in the commercial rather than green but no explanation was ever given. In 1987 a sequel to the holiday commercial was made where the yellow M&M has to save Christmas because Santa has fainted. I cannot recall when I last saw this airing so I must assume it was not very popular. You can see the sequel by clicking on the link.

M&Ms celebrate 70 years

For a quarter of a century, this television commercial has seemed fresh each year that it airs and many viewers look forward to it. The Yellow M&M is voiced by J.K. Simmons, the actor who won an Oscar for portraying Miles Teller's ruthless teacher in Whiplash. The Red M&M's voice is supplied by JK Simmons who also was the voice of Buzz the Bee in the Honeynut Cheerio commercials. The actor behind the Santa suit remains unknown.

M&Ms are 70 this year and still going strong as a favorite candy of many. I used to wonder why the Christmas M&M's tasted better than those I purchased during the rest of the year and recently I got an answer. It's because the packaging is thicker and larger than the regular plain and peanut bags and holds in the freshness longer. Be on the lookout for the classic Christmas commercial and be sure to purchase some holiday M&Ms. Sometimes on December 26 or later in the week they go on sale. By New Year you might be able to buy a bag for 25, 50 or 75% off.

Since writing this article I found out the following. The actor in the M&M ad who played Santa is Robert Machray. The voice of the red M&M was Billy West and the Yellow M&M was voiced by JK Simmons".

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About the Creator

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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