A&W Puts Pants On Spokesbear Rooty In M&M's Twitter Roast

A&W's lovable bear mascot, Rooty, doesn't clamor for attention the way so many other food mascots do. Sure, he sports a loud orange sweater and matching hat, but this wardrobe choice in no way reflects his personality type. He is, after all, an introverted bear who merely ambles through life in his duck-footed fashion while listening to his favorite tuba-based tune. 

Despite his innate likeability, Rooty's journey hasn't always been an easy one. Originally introduced as a mascot by a Canadian A&W restaurant, the brand decided they wanted Rooty to be the company's face in the U.S. as well (via MeTV). They reasoned that if Yogi Bear could be a hit, Rooty could too. CBC goes on to say that when a focus group said they hated the big brown bear, the company's director of marketing buried the results and told the researcher to go home and say, "You never made it here." His gamble paid off as Rooty sauntered his way into the nation's hearts. Zoom forward several decades. Media Post shares that Rooty had just become the first mascot to have his very own profile on LinkedIn, offering connections the gift of a recommendation from the famous Ursa. His accomplishment, however, was short-lived as this A&W video shows that his social media account was swiftly closed as Rooty "isn't real."  

Rooty is now back in the media and, this time, he's poking fun at a company's choice to "lay off" their mascots. 

Rooty's naked legs could be polarizing

When Mars Inc. announced that their M&M spokescandies would be abandoned due to recent outrage over the brand's shift towards wokeism, it seemed that everyone had a response. Even the A&W Root Bear. The company (and Rooty) tweeted that they now realize that "even a mascot's lack of pants could be polarizing." As a result, Rooty will be required to wear jeans. A respectable spokesbear, after all, would embrace modesty and cover up his bare bear legs. A clear reference to M&M's statement that "even a candy's shoes can be polarizing," A&W told CBS News that Rooty's new slacks are merely a "tongue-in-cheek" marketing move and that Rooty will actually remain pants-less. Even the opening line, "America, Let's talk," mimics M&M's original tweet regarding putting their jolly round mascots on "indefinite pause." 

A&W's social media move may be clever, but Marketing Dive points out that it poses a significant problem: Some people will think it's real. When one Twitter user queried the burger chain on whether or not they would actually force Rooty to don pants, the company replied with a resounding "No." After a few befuddled haters decried A&W's "wokeness," company spokesperson Liz Bazner responded, "Our social media post yesterday was purely in jest ... We have no plans to actually change our mascot's current outfit" (via CNN). 

Yes, Rooty will continue to casually stroll to "ba-dum ba-dum" pantless. And all will be right with the world.