M&M's Commercial 2003
Early black-and-white adverts for the candy in 1954 featured two talking, anthropomorphic M&M characters—one plain and one peanut—diving into a swimming pool full of chocolate.
The first incarnation of the characters in CGI was a 1994 celebrity campaign that had the characters interacting with celebrities on which M&Ms candy color is their favorite. This campaign was created by Blue Sky Studios. Concurrent with 1995's blue M&M campaign, M&M's introduced second computer-animated "spokescandies" in their television commercials. The depiction and campaign of the M&M's were made by Will Vinton in 1995. Vinton previously created the clay-animated California Raisins in 1986. Around the time he worked on CGI projects, he made the depiction of the M&M's as more mature than most food mascots. These include the team of the cynical and sardonic Red (originally voiced by Jon Lovitz, thereafter Billy West) who is the mascot for milk chocolate, peanut butter, and crispy M&M's, and the happy and gullible Yellow (originally voiced by John Goodman, thereafter J.K. Simmons), who is the mascot for Peanut M&M's (he was originally known as "Peanut" when first introduced). Other mascots include the "cool one", Blue (voiced by Robb Pruitt) who is the mascot for Almond M&M's; the seductive Green (her personality is a reference to the 1970s urban legend that green M&Ms were aphrodisiacs) (voiced by Cree Summer and Larissa Murray), who is the mascot for both Dark Chocolate Mint and Peanut Butter M&M's, and the slightly neurotic Orange (voiced by Eric Kirchberger), who was introduced when Crispy M&M's were first released and returned when Pretzel M&M's debuted in 2010. Orange, upon his return, was joined by the second non-M&M mascot, Pretzel Guy, who "supports" him and offers helpful advice as he hates the idea of having a pretzel put inside his body.
Other mascots that were introduced, but no longer used, are Almond, the original green guy; Orange, a female peanut character; Chocolate Bar (voiced by Phil Hartman), the first non-M&M character that always gets foiled or outdone by Red and Yellow by being melted, as M&M's do not melt; and the Swarmees for M&M's Minis candies, which are portrayed as destructive yet crafty troublemakers whom Red and Yellow are always trying unsuccessfully to contain.
Female M&M's mascots were introduced in 1995. Green was the Milk Chocolate mascot and Tan was the Peanut. Marketing discontinued Tan when they introduced the then-new Blue mascot. Green was the only female M&M's mascot from her introduction in 1995 until 2012 when M&M's unveiled a new additional spokescandy, Ms. Brown (voiced by Miss America 1984, Vanessa Williams), the "Chief Chocolate Officer". She made her debut in a Super Bowl XLVI advertisement, where several people at a party assume she is naked because her shell is the same color as her insides, which causes Red to remove his outer shell saying "So, it's that kind of party", and start dancing to the LMFAO song "Sexy And I Know It."