True or False? Mars Inc. refused the chance for its flagship product, M&Ms, to be used in the 1982 film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
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. Amblin Productions had first approached Mars Inc. proposing a tie-in between M&Ms and their film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but Mars said no.
Maybe Mars didn’t want its name linked with extraterrestrials, the film’s premise was just too otherworldly, or some unnamed executive thought 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 incredibly short-sighted and fiscally frivolous choice.
Mars Says No, Hershey Says Yes
Hershey’s “Yes” quickly replaced Mars “No”. Hershey didn’t pay to have Reese’s Pieces used in E.T., but did agree to a tie-in between the two when the film was to be released. Hershey agreed to promote E.T. with a million dollars worth of advertising, and in return Hershey could use E.T. in all of its ads.
Up until the movie debuted, Reese’s Pieces was an underdog confection that 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 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 was is true or false that Mars passed on the chance to have M&Ms used in ‘E.T. the movie Extra-Terrestrial’ is that it is 100% true.