12 Things You Probably Never Knew About E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
12. It Kick-Started Reese's Pieces
In the original script, when Elliot lured E.T. out from his shed and into his home using candy, his confectionery of choice was supposed to be M&Ms. When Spielberg took the idea to M&Ms owners Mars Incorporated, however, the company insisted on seeing a full copy of the screenplay before they would sanction the use of their product, especially given how ugly the little alien creature was. Ouch.
When Universal denied their request (the production was kept as quiet as possible to keep the nature of the film under wraps) Mars passed up the opportunity. The chance was then offered to the company behind Hershey Kisses, who weren't going to make the same mistake. Hershey Kisses were a popular treat at the time, though the Hershey company countered with an offer that the film instead use their latest creation - Reese's Pieces.
Hershey splashed out $1 million as part of a deal to get their peanut cups some worldwide exposure, and in the end it was worth every cent - the Hershey Company recorded a 65% jump in their Reese's Pieces profits just a fortnight after the film premiered.