M&M's are colorful button-shaped candies produced by Mars, Incorporated. They are characterized by the letter "m" printed in lowercase on one side of them. In addition to the original which had a milk chocolate filling (the "plain" variety), the candies have also appeared in "peanut," "crispy," and other variations. M&M's candies were first sold in 1941, and have since come to have more than 400 million individual ones produced per day in the United States, and to be sold in as many as 100 countries. According to their longest-lasting slogan, "The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand." Since the 1950s, the candies have been personified in television advertisements as characters with cartoon-like storytelling, who have appeared in various forms over the years; the current CGI versions were introduced in 1995.
History with the Macy's Parade
M&M's Chocolate Colorworks (1995)
The M&M's were introduced to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with their first float, called "M&M's Chocolate Candy Works," which featured a giant inflatable version of Blue standing over a candy factory, complete with colorful tubes, M&M's in mine carts and a magical candy maker at the front of the float. This falloon was retired after 1997.
M&M's Network (1998)
A falloon called "M&M's Network" replaced it, appearing from 1998 to 2003. This falloon was recycled from the Looney Tunes floats that appeared from 1989-1991. The two falloons on the float were Red and Yellow, the two most famous M&M's characters. At the back of the float, a giant camera towered over the float. Walk-around versions of various other M&M's decorated this float as well.
M&M's Red & Yellow Brighten the Holidays (2004)
In 2004, the float was replaced by a balloon named "Red & Yellow Brighten the Holidays". The balloon featured a colorful hot air balloon, showing the Yellow M&M hanging on a thread, with the Red M&M in the basket, trying to help his friend. This balloon made the usual three-year appearance, and was retired after the 2006 Parade, likely due to the infamous accident in 2005 (see below).
M&M's Chocolate Candies on Broadway (2007)
In 2007, the M&M's hot air balloon was replaced by a float called "M&M's Chocolate Candies On Broadway." This float featured Red as King Arthur from Spamalot, Green as Elphaba from Wicked, Blue as the Phantom of the Opera, and Yellow and Orange as members of the company of singers from A Chorus Line. The figures from this float are still on display at Macy's Parade Studio to this day. This float appeared until 2009.
- In 2005, due to the high winds, the M&M's balloon went out of control and got popped on a streetlight in Times Square. A handling line got entangled in the light and dropped parts of the light onto two sisters; when struck by the falling debris, they suffered minor injuries. As a result, the balloon had to be grounded by the NYPD and was removed from the Parade. This also caused new safety guidelines to be introduced the following year, such as installing wind measurement devices that alert Parade organizers to unsafe weather, keeping balloons closer to the ground during windy conditions, and prohibiting the balloons from appearing during very heavy rainfall, sustained winds higher than 23 miles per hour, and/or wind gusts higher than 34 miles per hour.
- Originally, the 2007 float was planned to have a Halloween theme, and would've featured Orange as a mummy, Blue as a phantom, Yellow as Frankenstein, and Green as the Bride. But this idea was scrapped for unknown reasons, likely due to Halloween being before Thanksgiving, and as such was replaced by the Broadway theme.
Below, you will find a list of every guest star that has appeared on the float.
M&M's Chocolate Candy Works
- 1995 - All-4-One; sang "Colors of Love"
- 1996 - Matthew, and Andy Lawrence. Joey Lawrence: sang "Soulmates"
- 1997 - Debbie Gibson; sang "Only in my Dreams"
M&M's Network (Falloon)
- 1998 - *NSYNC; sang "Tearin Up my Heart"
- 1999 - Christina Aguilera; sang "What a Girl Wants"
- 2000 - Innosense; sang "Say no More"
- 2001 - Usher; sang "You Remind Me"
- 2002 - Ashanti; sang "Happy"
- 2003 - Simple Plan; sang "Addicted"
M&M's Chocolate Candies on Broadway
- 2007 - Lea Michele & Jonathan Groff; sang "Give My Regards To Broadway"
- 2008 - Idina Menzel; sang "I Stand"
- 2009 - Alan Cumming; sang "That's Life"
Music of the Balloon
- The Candy Man (Milton Delugg Version) (2004-2006)