The Hershey Company

views updated

The Hershey Company


100 Crystal A Drive
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033-0810
Telephone: (717) 534-6799
Fax: (717) 534-6760
Web site:



Hershey supported the launch of ReeseSticks wafer bars with a campaign that emphasized the product's connection to its predecessor, the popular Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. ReeseSticks had a different texture and taste because they contained crisp wafers in addition to the creamy peanut butter and milk chocolate found in peanut butter cups. A television commercial featured a round peanut butter cup in the form of a buzzsaw, cutting a wafer in half and covering it with chocolate and peanut butter. An advertisement in Reader's Digest in May 1998 simply showed two Reese's Peanut Butter Cups above the word "original" and two ReeseSticks above the words "new extra crispy." One of the ReeseSticks was broken apart to reveal that it contained layers of peanut butter between wafers, all coated in milk chocolate. The tag line "The Crisp You Can't Resist!" was centered below a picture of the new product in the trademark orange Reese's wrapper.

ReeseSticks were the latest in a series of innovative line extensions that had helped make Reese's the company's most successful brand. Reese's was one of the first widely popular candies that combined chocolate and peanut butter. Competing with Hershey, the industry leader, other confectioners introduced their own crispy chocolate-and-peanut butter candies. Advertising for ReeseSticks was so effective, however, that demand exceeded supply shortly after the product was launched nationally in the spring of 1998. "The Crisp You Can't Resist!" campaign of television commercials and print advertisements was created by the New York office of Ogilvy & Mather. It was introduced in print and broadcast media early in 1998 and continued into 1999.


Hershey traced its roots to Lancaster Caramel Company, founded in 1886 by Milton S. Hershey. A subsidiary, Hershey Chocolate Company, opened in 1894. Milton Hershey retained the chocolate business when he sold the caramel operation for $1 million in 1900. He used the money to open what would become the largest chocolate factory in the world. He also founded a utopian community named Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the company's workers, and he established an orphanage and ensured that it would continue to receive a large percentage of the firm's profits after his death. By the 1990s the company was called Hershey Foods. It manufactured ice cream toppings, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips and other baking products, milk products, and various brands of pasta. The company led the U.S. candy industry with brands such as Hershey's milk chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Nuggets, Kit Kat chocolate bars, Cookies 'n' Creme white chocolate bars with cookie bits, York Peppermint Patties, and Twizzlers licorice. In 1996 Hershey also acquired Leaf North America, which made Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, and PayDay candies. In 1998 Reese's was the largest and most popular of Hershey's brands and was valued at $350 million, according to Advertising Age.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were launched in 1928 by Harry Burnett Reese, the founder of H.B. Reese Candy Company. Hershey acquired the firm for $23.5 million in 1963 and began marketing Reese's Peanut Butter Cups nationally. The product consisted of specially processed peanut butter in a disk-shaped, milk chocolate shell with fluted edges. It was packaged in bright orange wrappers that contained two peanut butter cups. The first line extension, Reese's Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, was launched in 1976. Other line extensions introduced over the years included small candies called Reese's Pieces, peanut butter Easter eggs and Christmas trees, peanut butter baking bits, peanut butter in a jar, peanut butter ice cream, and peanut butter puffs cereal. According to Brandweek, Hershey's total advertising budget for all its Reese's products was $33 million in 1997, up from $22.6 million in 1996.

From 1969 to 1988 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were promoted with the tag line, "Two great tastes that taste great together." In 1988, after market research showed that consumers had developed individual, ritualistic ways of eating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the company launched a humorous campaign called "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" that was still running in 1999. The new ads highlighted the candy's unique qualities and the many eccentric ways it could be eaten. One magazine advertisement that ran in 1998 showed two miniature peanut butter cups above two captions that both said, "'I eat them just like my brother.'" A second line of text explained, "(Don and Dan, identical twins.)"

In 1995 Hershey supported its recently introduced Reese's Nutrageous candy bar—a crunchy combination of chocolate and peanuts—with a $9.5 million advertising campaign. In 1997 the company spent an estimated $10 million to launch another line extension, Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups, which contained peanut butter, milk chocolate, and a chocolate cookie. The promotion included the distribution of 50 million coupons and 8 million free samples of the product. Later in the year Hershey began selling ReeseSticks wafer bars in limited markets. The "The Crisp You Can't Resist!" campaign was launched early in 1998 to support the national introduction of ReeseSticks.


Targeting a broad audience of people who enjoyed the taste of creamy peanut butter and rich milk chocolate together, "The Crisp You Can't Resist" appealed to consumers who enjoyed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups but who wanted to try a line extension with a new texture and slightly different taste. Hershey intended the new product to move beyond the candy market and compete with cookies and cakes in the snack market. Lisa Kronmuller, new products manager of Hershey's marketing department, said in a news release: "Consumers love the taste of peanut butter and chocolate together. ReeseSticks provide a unique combination of sweet and salty tastes with an extra crispy texture—a perfect snack item for chocolate candy, cookie, and snack cake lovers." The ads emphasized the similarities and differences between ReeseSticks and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The campaign's lighthearted tone entertained the audience and conveyed the message that candy was a fun, enjoyable treat. The ads also showed that ReeseSticks were more complex than some other candies, since they contained three ingredients assembled in layers.


Hershey considered calling one of its candy bars "Acclaim" but rejected the idea after consumers in focus groups guessed that the product being described was most likely a four-door sedan. The candy was eventually dubbed Reese's Nutrageous, a name that immediately evoked an image of peanuts and caramel.


Hershey led the U.S. candy industry in 1997 with sales of $4.3 billion. Its closest rival was Mars, Inc., which owned brands such as M&M's Chocolate Candies, Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and Milky Way. In third place was Nestlé SA, a company based in Switzerland, with brands that included Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, and Crunchbars. The chocolate-covered cookie and wafer category was valued at $155 million that year. Information Resources, Inc., reported that Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups had sales of $20 million and controlled 12.9 percent of the category. Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups Halloween Candy generated an additional $7 million in sales. Hershey's Kit Kat brand had sales of $61 million, and Twix had sales of $49.9 million. For the year ended November 8, 1998, all Reese's products had sales of $108.9 million; Kit Kat had $60.5 million, and Hershey's Mr. Goodbar had $9.5 million, according to Brandweek. From mid-August 1997 through mid-August 1998 Twix had sales of $70.5 million in grocery stores, drug stores, and mass merchandise outlets.

Advertising Age reported that Mars spent $67.3 million to advertise its products in 1998. Of that amount, $58.9 million went for television commercials and $7.2 million went for print ads. A large percentage of Mars' marketing budget was used to promote M&M's, a popular product that came in two styles—chocolate and chocolate-covered peanuts—with multicolored candy coatings. An M&M's Crispyline extension was launched late in 1998 with a $40 million advertising campaign.

During the first half of 1998 Mars spent $11.9 million to promote another popular brand, Twix chocolate-covered wafer, with the tag line "Two for me, none for you." The print ads and television commercials revolved around the idea that although Twix was sold in packages of two, the product tasted so good that people were not willing to share it. One commercial showed a man who had just been awarded two expensive vehicles in the brand's "Double or Nothing" instant-win game. As he wondered what he would do with identical Jeep Wranglers, his companion mused, "Maybe give one to your best friend." Television commercials in the campaign aired during programs for young people, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Party of Five.

Hershey's other primary rival, Nestlé promoted its Butterfinger brand with an advertising campaign that starred cartoon characters from the popular television program The Simpsons. Ads for another crunchy candy, Baby Ruth, used the tag line "This baby gets you going!" to position the brand as a source of energy for active people. In 1997 Nestlé spent about $5 million on advertising to support the launch of White Crunch, a bar of white chocolate with crisped rice and peanut pieces. Nestlé also introduced four varieties of a new brand, Treasures, which consisted of milk chocolate shells filled with peanut butter, Butterfinger Bits, the crisped rice used in Crunch bars, or caramel. An advertisement in People magazine featured the headline, "This would read even better if you were curled up with some Nestlé Treasures." The tag line "From you to you" suggested that Treasures were a good choice for consumers who wanted to indulge themselves.

Another rival, Russell Stover Candies, launched Russell Stover Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups. Sold two to a package or individually wrapped in large bags, the product consisted of round chocolate shells with a peanut butter filling and either grape jelly or raspberry jam. One advertisement featured the tag line "Gushing with Flavor" in type that looked as if it had been written with purple and red jelly. The text said, "For the first time ever, Russell Stover combines the world's most popular flavors: peanut butter, jelly, and milk chocolate." The ad included a coupon that could be redeemed for 50 cents toward the purchase of the product and another coupon that consumers could redeem for a free sample.


Hershey originally picked ReeseSticks as the most promising contender among a field of four new products made with wafers and peanut butter. The company spent three years conducting focus groups, distributing free samples in locations such as shopping malls, and surveying several hundred consumers as it adjusted the recipe to achieve the most popular balance of chocolate, peanut butter, and wafers. Hundreds of names, including "Reeskies," were considered before the product was christened. The New York office of Ogilvy & Mather created advertisements that emphasized the new line extension's taste, texture, and connection to the familiar Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. In a 15-second television commercial called "Sawmill," the blade of a buzzsaw—shaped like a round Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on its side—sliced a crisp wafer in half. The chocolate and peanut butter of the blade melted in the process and coated the divided wafer to form two ReeseSticks. The commercial included the tag line "The Crisp You Can't Resist!" The Los Angeles Times said that during the week of April 13-19, commercials for ReeseSticks aired 16 times on daytime network television, placing the message in 70 million homes.

In addition to television commercials, the national launch of ReeseSticks in February 1998 was supported by advertisements in magazines such as People, and Sports Illustrated. More than 10 million samples of the product were given away at retail outlets, and 40 million coupons were either attached to the product's packaging or inserted in Parade magazine in April. Standard packages of ReeseSticks sold for about 50 cents, but to encourage consumers to sample the new candy, trial-size ReeseSticks were priced at 25 cents for a short time after the product's launch. Beginning in April some of the product's packaging featured a tie-in to the motion picture Godzilla, which was scheduled for release on Memorial Day. When the National Football League season started, Hershey included ReeseSticks in its second annual $1 Million Kick promotion, which offered consumers an opportunity to kick a field goal during the Super Bowl.

"The Crisp You Can't Resist" ad ran in conjunction with the popular "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign, which promoted Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and the Reese's brand in general. Hershey sometimes alternated the two campaigns in consecutive issues of magazines such as Reader's Digest. Advertising Age reported that Hershey spent $86.2 million to advertise its candies in 1998, up from $84.5 million in 1997, with $60.6 million going toward television commercials and $23.3 million going toward print ads. Hershey budgeted an estimated $15 million for "The Crisp You Can't Resist!" in 1998.


Soon after the launch of ReeseSticks in February, the candy was so popular that Hershey could not manufacture enough to keep up with demand. The company briefly scaled back its advertising until a larger supply of the product became available. Hershey's earnings per share rose from 33 cents to 39 cents by June 1998, and the increase was attributed primarily to sales of ReeseSticks. The company continued to dominate the U.S. chocolate industry with a market share of 45 percent in the spring of 1999.


Beirne, Mike. "Crispy Cruncher." Brandweek, September 14, 1998, p. 1.

――――――――. "Twix." Mediaweek, September 28, 1998, p. 52.

"Candy & Snacks." Discount Store News, October 20, 1997, p. 32.

Liebeck, Laura. "Candy Show Set to Launch." Discount Store News, January 26, 1998, p. 25.

"Mars Extends M&M's Crisp-Ward." Brandweek, June 29, 1998.

Mehegan, Sean. "Hershey Bets $15M to Grow Reese's Again." Brandweek, December 1, 1997, p. 1.

Thompson Stephanie. "Candy." Mediaweek, May 18, 1998, p. 30.

Warner, Mary. "Sweet Success: Reese's Sticks [sic] Debut Today." Harrisburg Patriot, February 9, 1998.

                                               Susan Risland



The Hershey Company acquired the H.B. Reese Candy Company in 1963, and with the acquisition came a popular peanut-butter-filled, chocolate-coated candy, Reese's peanut butter cups. The Reese's brand expanded over time to include Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Nutrageous candy bar, and Reese's Pieces, which in 1982 were made famous as the preferred treat of a lovable alien in the movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial. For almost 20 years, from 1969 to 1988, Hershey promoted its Reese's peanut butter cups with the familiar tagline "Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together" and with humorous television spots. That changed after research revealed that people had developed various methods of eating Reese's peanut butter cups.

After reviewing the research, the company's ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather of New York, created a series of humorous TV spots and print ads that emphasized the unique character of peanut butter cups and the people who ate them. Themed "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's," the campaign began in 1988, with new advertisements introduced each year through the 1990s. Some played up the shape or composition of the candy, while others hinged entirely on the traits of the person eating the peanut butter cup. One print ad depicted four Reese's peanut butter cups with bites taken out of them to make them look like the four phases of the moon. The caption said, "I eat them in phases. (Richard Chandler, Astronomer)."

The positive reactions to the new campaign showed that, while its long-running predecessor was a success, consumers had been ready for a change. As the "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign continued what would become a nearly 15-year run, studies conducted by the agency revealed that consumers enjoyed the ads, related to them, and connected them with the Reese's brand. In the late 1990s an agency executive commented that, even after 10 years, the campaign "really worked."


Reese's peanut butter cups were invented in the 1920s by Harry Burnett Reese, who had worked at the dairy of Milton S. Hershey, the founder of Hershey Foods Corporation. Inspired by Hershey's success, Reese quit his dairy job and founded the H.B. Reese Candy Company. Reese's peanut butter cups, the company's most popular product, were shells of Hershey's milk chocolate filled with specially processed peanut butter. In 1963 the company was sold to Hershey for $23.5 million. The Reese's brand grew steadily and was expanded to include Reese's Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces, Reese's Nutrageous candy bars, peanut butter Easter eggs and Christmas trees, peanut butter in a jar, baking bits, and peanut-butter-puffs cereal. Reese's became the top seller among the Hershey brands, which included Hershey's Kisses, Kit Kat chocolate bars, York Peppermint Patties, and Twizzlers licorice. In 1996 Hershey also acquired Leaf North America, which made Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, and PayDay candies. In addition, Hershey sold chocolate syrup, ice-cream toppings, baking products, pasta, peanut butter, milk products, and other foods.

From 1969 to 1988 the tagline in two advertising campaigns for Reese's peanut butter cups was "Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together." Commercials in the first campaign, "Collisions," featured two people, one carrying chocolate and the other carrying peanut butter, who accidentally collided and jammed their snacks together. They were always delighted with the taste of the new combination. Some of the unlikely collisions happened as people rounded corners, climbed out of manholes, and watched video games. The lively, fun tone of the commercials was intended to reflect the enjoyment consumers would experience as they tasted a Reese's. After the campaign had run for a decade, the company began developing more contemporary advertising that would appeal to consumers 12 to 34 years old. The "Collisions" advertisements had emphasized that chocolate and peanut butter were individual ingredients. In contrast, the "Near Misses" campaign stressed the fact that Reese's taste was a result of the combination of the two. This campaign, which ran from 1986 to 1988, used less slapstick and more sophistication in its humor. In 1988 the "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign was developed to emphasize the candy's unique qualities and the many ways it could be eaten.


Because advertisements for candy had to appeal to consumers of all ages, they tended to be amusing and offbeat. A catchy jingle that children would sing at school was part of many successful campaigns. According to some experts, adult consumers were most apt to buy candy that was advertised humorously regardless of the price or taste of the product. The "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign used humor to emphasize the fact that peanut butter cups were different and more complex than some other types of candy and that they could be eaten in various ways. In fact, the company had discovered that many consumers had formed a strong emotional attachment to Reese's peanut butter cups and often ate them ritualistically. The act of consuming a rich, flavorful candy with a variety of textures could be a highly satisfying experience. The advertising campaign emphasized this individuality and self-indulgence in a lighthearted way.

In 1995 the United States ranked eighth in the world for total annual chocolate consumption. Americans ate a total of 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate in 1996. The average American ate 11.7 pounds of chocolate that year, up from 9.7 pounds in 1983. The average per capita consumption of all candy was 24.3 pounds, up from 17.9 in 1983. Candy sales climbed during the Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day seasons.


In the 1990s the U.S. retail chocolate industry was worth $13 billion annually, according to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, and most of the top-selling chocolate candies were made by either Hershey or Mars, Inc., a private company owned by one of the nation's wealthiest families. Hoover's Company Capsules placed the value of the Mars company at $13 billion. The Arizona Republic reported that Mars had more than $1 billion in annual sales in 1997. The company's products included M&M's, Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles, and Starburst candies; Twix snacks; Uncle Ben's rice; and several brands of pet food. Hershey led the overall candy market in the United States, and Mars was second. According to Candy Industry Magazine, Reese's peanut butter cups were the fourth most popular chocolate candy bar in 1997, with 9 percent of the market. M&M's Chocolate Candies were the leading chocolate candy worldwide and had 16 percent of the market in the United States. Hershey's chocolate bars had 10 percent; Snickers bars had 8 percent; Butterfinger bars and York Peppermint Patties each had 4 percent; Crunch bars, Three Musketeers bars, and Russell Stover chocolate bars each had 3 percent; and Reese's Nutrageous bars had 2 percent. Hershey's Kisses and Kit Kat bars, made by Hershey, were also popular.


The Reese's brand experienced a rush of popularity in 1982, when the main character in the blockbuster movie E.T. used a trail of Reese's Pieces to find his way through a forest.

The top-selling Mars brand and Reese's main competitor, M&M's, had a series of enormously successful campaigns. In the past the brand had been marketed with the tagline "M&M's Melt in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands." In a 1996 promotion consumers had voted to replace tan M&M's with blue. Advertising in 1997 featured animated M&M characters named Red, Yellow, and Blue to represent the three main colors of M&M's. Mars also designed its Internet site to look like a tour of a movie studio where each animated character had a trailer full of photographs and other fanciful possessions. In 1997 Mars responded to consumer suggestions and added a female Green character, and the ads featuring her played on the old myth that green M&M's were an aphrodisiac. The campaign featuring these characters included celebrities such as Dennis Miller, B.B. King, and Tia Carerre playfully interacting with the M&M's. The celebrities helped draw the attention of adult audiences, but the animated characters took center stage in the commercials. In a 1996 survey by USA Today's Ad Track the commercials ranked second out of more than 60 campaigns in the poll, with 45 percent of respondents saying they "liked the ads a lot." In a 1997 survey by the American Marketing Association, fifth-grade students in Dallas listed spots for M&M's among their favorite commercials. Competitive Media Reporting calculated that Mars spent about $20 million on television commercials for M&M's during the first half of 1996.

The other top-selling Mars candy, Snickers, also had a popular campaign attached to it. Snickers had long been advertised as the perfect snack to satisfy hunger, but since 1995 the message had taken on a more light-hearted slant. A strategy revolving around the tagline "Hungry? Why Wait?" was developed to target males 18 to 22 years old, and more commercials were aired during sports programs on television. In one spot an elderly man had just finished painting a giant-size logo of the Chiefs football team between a pair of goalposts when a player commented, "Hey, that's great. But who are the Chefs?" The painter stared at the misspelling, muttered "Great googily moogily!" and took comfort in a Snickers bar as he resigned himself to the fact that the entire logo would have to be repainted. A voice-over said, "Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a Snickers." In another spot a coach informed a football team, "Listen up. This year we gotta be a little more 'politically correct' with the team prayer." A priest began the prayer, but the coach interrupted him to let a Rabbi take over, then a Native American shaman, a mystic from India, an Eastern Orthodox priest, and a long line of other religious leaders. "Not going anywhere for a while?" asked the announcer. "Grab a Snickers." The "Team Prayer" spot was among the 10 most popular ads of 1997, according to a survey by USA Today's Ad Track. Nearly a third of respondents said they "liked the ad a lot," and 26 percent said it was effective. About 40 percent of consumers with household incomes of at least $50,000 said they liked the campaign. Advertising Age reported that Snickers generated sales of $277 million from March 1997 to March 1998, an increase of 2.3 percent from the previous year. Competitive Media Reporting estimated that the 1996 advertising budget for Snickers was $42.2 million.


Previous marketing had first stressed the two main ingredients of Reese's—chocolate and peanut butter—as individual elements. Next, the combination of the two was emphasized. In 1987, however, the company's research revealed that consumers could not replicate Reese's by combining chocolate and peanut butter at home. The product's unique taste was identified as a key selling point. In addition, the research showed that many consumers had peculiar ways of eating Reese's peanut butter cups. The "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign featured the humor that consumers expected of the brand, and they were strongly focused on the product.

The first six commercials in the campaign began airing in 1988, and additional spots were released in waves. Five of them ran in 1997. The campaign initially consisted of television commercials and included print ads after 1994. One print advertisement showed a Reese's peanut butter cup with four holes that made it look like a button. The caption read, "I make my own special alterations. (William Hamilton, Tailor)." In another print ad the candy had been nibbled into the shape of the United States. The caption said, "I start in Seattle and work my way around. (Miss Moore, Geography Teacher.)" A third showed a vampire leaving two fang marks where he had sucked the peanut-butter center out through the chocolate shell. The campaign featured a lively cast of additional characters, including a barber, a dragon, a secret agent, a private detective, a golfer, an Internal Revenue Service agent, a postal worker, and a mentalist.


The Hershey Company promoted one of its top-selling chocolate candies with the Hershey's Kissmobile, a specialty vehicle more than 25 feet long and 11 feet tall, which looked like a row of three enormous Hershey Kisses. The vehicle traveled thousands of miles every year, stopping at children's hospitals, parades, festivals, and retail outlets. The promotion increased awareness of the brand and helped raise donations for the Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that supported children's hospitals.

Television spots included one that began with an announcer saying, "How domino champ Charlie Armstrong eats a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup." A drum roll accompanied a close-up of a little boy peering around a row of carefully balanced candy packages. To the sound of falling dominoes, the boy tipped over the first package, and the camera followed the rapidly falling Reese's across the table until the last package flipped one piece of candy into the boy's hand. The boy said, "Yeah." Clapping and cheers were heard in the background. As the camera zoomed in on two peanut butter cups and their wrapper, the announcer concluded, "There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's." Another began with an announcer saying, "How librarian Harriet Causbie eats a Reese's peanut butter cup." The words also appeared on the screen in gold letters against an orange and chocolate-brown background, the trademark colors of Reese's candies. The scene then shifted to a library, where a serious woman in a gray suit sat at her desk. A sign over her head said, "Quiet please." She held a piece of candy and shook her finger at the camera as she whispered, "I eat them as quietly as I can." At that moment the sign fell with a crash, but she continued eating her candy. The commercial ended with a view of two peanut butter cups and their wrapper against an orange and brown background. A voice-over stated, "There's no wrong way—Shhh—to eat a Reese's."

In March 1997 Hershey began promoting a new product in the Reese's line, Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups, with an estimated $10 million advertising campaign that appeared in print media and on television. Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups consisted of peanut butter, milk chocolate, and a chocolate cookie, which gave the product an interesting texture. In April the company distributed 50 million coupons and 8 million free samples of the new product. Later in the year the cookie cups were included in the "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign. Another line extension, the Reese's Nutrageous candy bar, had been introduced in 1994. It received $9.5 million for advertising in 1995 and $5.4 million for the first six months of 1996. In comparison, the company spent $16.2 million to advertise regular and crunchy Reese's peanut butter cups in 1995 and $9.2 million for the first six months of 1996.


The effectiveness of the "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign was demonstrated in tracking and copy tests conducted by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. "It's run for almost ten years, and it's a campaign that really worked. Consumers identify with it," said Amy Robertson, an account executive with the agency. The tests showed that people remembered the advertisements, related to them, and associated them with the Reese's brand.

With a growth rate of 5.4 percent, the retail-confectionery category was one of the most rapidly expanding food markets in the United States in 1997. Hershey had record net sales of about $4.3 billion, up from about $4 billion in 1996, and the company said that its candy business in North America was the chief contributor to the increase in earnings. At the end of 1997 Hershey was preparing a new television and print advertising campaign, coupons, and a sampling promotion to introduce another line extension, ReeseSticks wafer bars, in February 1998.

After a successful 15-year run, in 2002 the "There's No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese's" campaign was replaced. A new campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather had the theme and tagline "Get Lost in a Reese's." It targeted young men ages 18-24 who typically enjoyed candy on the run, but it also appealed to consumers in other age groups. In addition to the new campaign, to help the brand stay relevant to consumers the company updated its product packaging and introduced another line extension: FastBreak candy bars. "Get Lost in a Reese's" supported the launch of FastBreak.


Associated Press. "Green Means Go for M&M's." Tampa Tribune, January 24, 1997.

DeKok, David. "Chocolate Wars." Harrisburg (PA) Patriot & Evening News, October 13, 1995.

"Divine Ms. Green Lives Up to Name in M&Mland." Arizona Republic, February 18, 1997.

Enrico, Dottie. "Consumers Sweet on M&M Ads." USA Today, July 28, 1996.

Enrico, Dottie, and Lydia Gibson. "Snickers' 'Why Wait?' Ads Hit Sweet Spot." USA Today, April 21, 1997.

"Food Ads Are Top with Kids." Adweek, April 24, 1997.

Garfield, Bob. "Snickers Ads Grab the Elusive 'Big Idea.'" Advertising Age, September 2, 1996.

Grant, Tracy, and Judith Evans. "Honey, Pass the Green M&M's." Washington Post, January 27, 1997.

Gustin, Carl, Jr. "Ogilvy Clients Talk about the Agency and Its Work: Partnerships and Brand-Building Are Stressed." Advertising Age, September 21, 1998.

"Hershey Sets Reese's Crunchy Launch." Adweek, Eastern Edition, October 28, 1996.

"How the Ad Track Ads of 1997 Stack Up" USA Today, December 29, 1997.

"Late News. (Advertising/Marketing News Briefs)." Advertising Age, June 17, 2002.

Mehegan, Sean. "Hershey Keeps Reese's Growing with $10M Intro of Cookie Cups." Brandweek, October 28, 1996.

"The Power and the Passion: Reese's Is Just One of Hershey's Power Brands. Here's the Punch behind It." Confectioner, October 1, 2002.

                                               Susan Risland

                                                Rayna Bailey