Huge Corporate Brain Fart
Mars Inc. was offered the chance for its flagship product M&Ms to be used in the 1982 film ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, allowing the Hershey Foods Corporation’s Reese’s Pieces to become a huge international success. It all came to be when Amblin Productions approached Mars Inc. proposing a tie-in between Mars candies ‘M&Ms’ and their film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. And due to a huge corporate brain fart, Mars said no.
Ugly Alien Adopted By A Lonely Kid
Maybe Mars didn’t want its name associated with extraterrestrials. Perhaps the film’s premise was just too otherworldly (ironic given the name ‘Mars”), or some unnamed executive decided that nobody would want to see a movie about an ugly alien adopted by a lonely kid. Whatever the reason, given the international success of E.T., it was an incredibly short-sighted and fiscally frivolous choice.
Mars Says No | Hershey Says Yes
Hershey’s “Yes!” quickly replaced Mars “No! and Hershey didn’t have to pay a penny to have Reese’s Pieces used in E.T. However, Hershey did agree to a tie-in between the two when the film was to be released, agreeing to promote E.T. with a million dollars worth of advertising and in return Hershey could use E.T. in all of its advertising at no charge.
Underdog In The Confection World
Up until the movie debuted, Reese’s Pieces had been a bit of an underdog in the confection world and was only faintly known by the candy-consuming public. But, within two weeks of the movie’s premiere a shy little alien lured from the bushes and into America’s hearts by a trail of sweetly coated peanut butter and chocolate candies, had caused Reese’s Pieces sales to go right through the roof. The rest of the story, as they say, is history.
Therefore, the answer to whether or not it’s true or false that Mars passed on the chance to have M&Ms used in ‘E.T. the movie Extra-Terrestrial’, is that it’s 100% true.