How Reese's Pieces Landed Its Big Break With Help From the Alien Who Wanted to Go Home

When Mars Inc. passed on E.T., the opportunity went to Hershey's

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In honor of Halloween, it’s time to tell the strange story of how one of America’s favorite candies got its big break.

In 1981, Steven Spielberg was getting ready to start shooting E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. One of the critical scenes involved Elliott, the movie’s kid star, winning the trust of the wrinkled little space alien by offering him some candy.

But Universal Studios had a problem: M&M’s had turned them down. The consensus now is that Mars Inc.



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This story first appeared in the Oct. 26, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.