- Oct 10, 2015|
- ED JOLLY
From luring aliens to comedic poolside mishaps, candy has always played a role on screen. Here are a few of our favorite candy screen moments…
BUTTERFINGER – THE SIMPSONS (1990+)
Bart Simpson, along with a whole host of other characters from The Simpsons, have appeared in a series of over 150 ingenious television commercials for Nestlé's Butterfinger candy bars from 1990.
Many of the commercials have featured Homer Simpson attempting to snatch Bart’s Butterfinger.
Various slogans have been used including:
- "Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger”. (1988 onwards)
- “Bite My Butterfinger!” 1999
- “Nothing Like A Butterfinger! 2001
- “Nobody’s gonna lay a finger on my Butterfinger!” 2010
Matt Groening would later say that the Butterfinger advertising campaign was a key factor in the Fox decision to pick up the half-hour show. The rest is history …
REESE'S PIECES - E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
Steven Spielberg’s blockbusting 1982 film, ‘E.T.’, contains a scene in which the central character, Elliot, coaxes the eponymous abandoned alien out of the bushes into his clutches by leaving a trail of candy on the ground….. Reese’s Pieces.
Hershey, who were hoping to bolster their Reese's Pieces line made an agreement to produce a million dollars worth of advertisements for the film, and plastered E.T.'s face right on the candy's packaging. A very canny strategy - there was a 65% spike in sales of Reese’s Pieces straight after the movie hit theatres.
The rumour is that Mars, Inc. were originally approached by Amblin Productions about a possible tie in with M&Ms but turned down the opportunity. The spurned offer was then tendered to Hershey.
Hershey did not pay a sum to have Reese's Pieces featured in E.T. Instead the corporation agreed to a tie-in between the movie and the candy after the film was released. A symbiotic deal was struck wherein Hershey Foods agreed to promote E.T. with $1 million of advertising. In return, Hershey were able to use E.T. in its own ads.
Within two weeks of the movie's premiere, Reese's Pieces sales went through the roof. (Disagreement exists as to how far through the roof they went: Sales were variously described as having tripled, experienced an 85% jump, or increased by 65%).
Whatever the final numbers though, Reese's Pieces — up until then a relative underdog confection only faintly known by the U.S. candy-consuming public — were being consumed in great handfuls as a result of the very lucrative tie in with one of the most popular films of all time.
Just think. The commercial success of Reese’s Pieces could be attributed to the pivotal moment when a shy little alien was coaxed out of the bushes with a trail of peanut-butter-in-a-candy-coated-shell confections …
BABY RUTH – HELLBOY (2004)
In the film Hellboy, the allies find a baby demon with red skin, horns and a disproportionately large right hand after the destruction of the Nazi portal.
Professor Bruttenholm tames the demon with a Baby Ruth bar and a trust is built. There on in we see the baby demon and the allies joined in their fight against evil …
Baby Ruth – Goonies 1985
1985 saw Baby Ruth candy land a huge role in the hit film Goonies, when Chuck uses a Baby Ruth bar to befriend the mutated Sloth and eventually save the day.
BUTTERFINGER – DANGEROUS MINDS (1995)
The schoolroom drama ‘Dangerous Minds’ casts Michelle Pfeiffer as LouAnne Johnson, a teacher pitched against a new class of insolent, urban teens.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s character is seen enjoying a Butterfinger during the movie. The Butterfinger also proves rather useful for teaching.
After a dreadful first day dealing with the rabble, the teacher resorts to Butterfinger bribes for correct answers … a very clever tactic and proof that candy can be used to pacify humans as well as hell demons and aliens.
Baby Ruth – Caddyshack (1980)
Arguably, the funniest clip in a film featuring a Baby Ruth bar is the scene in the movie ‘Caddyshack’ when, during a pool party, two youths outside the pool are fighting over a Baby Ruth bar.
A third youth takes the candy bar and throws it into the pool with its wrapper off leading a comedic mayhem aplenty.
Thinking someone had defecated in the pool due to the Baby Ruth bar’s perceived similarity to some human faeces, everyone makes a mad scramble out of the pool. The pool is then given a thorough clean.
When the crazed groundsman, Carl Spackler (Bill Murray), is cleaning out the pool in the aftermath, he immediately recognizes the offending object as a Baby Ruth bar (“It’s no big deal!”), he takes a bite out of it, much to the disgust of the owners of the country club, who still believe it to be faeces.
Instead, it was an enjoyable, chewy, caramel, peanut and chocolate treat…
Junior Mint - TV Series Seinfeld
The Junior Mint is the 60th episode of the American sitcom, Seinfeld. episode 20 of Season 4.
"Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint, it's delicious!"
Were truer words ever spoken? The candy plays a pivotal role in a scene in which Kramer and Jerry observe Elaine’s artistic ex boyfriend’s splenectomy.
During the surgical procedure, the hapless pair accidentally drop a Junior Mint from the viewing gallery into the patient's body. Interestingly, in actuality, a York Peppermint Pattie was used for filming this scene as a Junior Mint was too small for the camera).
No money exchanged hands between Tootsie Roll (Junior Mints' parent company) and Seinfeld.
With the amount of product exposure Junior Mints gained from that episode, that's quite a deal.
Apparently, the opportunity for product placement was turned down by M&Ms and Lifesavers (among others).
Wonka Candy - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Based on the delectable fictional novel, ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ (1964) by Roald Dahl, the original film is arguably the greatest on-screen homage to candy ever seen and it needs little or no introduction.
This American musical fantasy is now a cult classic despite the fact it wasn’t a huge box office smash originally and despite the fact Roald Dahl claimed he was disappointed in the movie for its narrative focus on Willy Wonka rather than Charlie Bucket and Dahl’s reported anger at the non casting of Spike Milligan in the lead role of Willy Wonka.
Classic songs from the movie include:
- The Candy Man Can
- I’ve got a Golden Ticket
- Oompa Loompa
The launch of the real world Wonka Candy Company coincided with the first Wonka film's release. Dahl’s classic children's novel, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, along with its film adaptations are the source of both the packaging and the marketing styles of the Wonka candy brand.
The new brand was produced in Illinois, at the Chicago-based Breaker Confections (which was then owned by Sunmark Co., a subsidiary of Quaker). The original Wonka Bars never saw store shelves due to factory production problems prior to the film's release.
Regardless, later Wonka product releases were highly successful. Breaker Confections changed its name into Willy Wonka Brands in 1980 in an attempt at developing its Wonka brand image. In 1988, Willy Wonka Brands was sold, along with parent company Sunmark, by Quaker to Nestlé, who in 1993 renamed Willy Wonka Brands to Willy Wonka Candy Company.
A number of the Willy Wonka-branded products originated from Roald Dahl's book and later film adaptations, while others were originally created or acquired for the brand. The Wonka brand is now a formidable candy giant in its own right licensed by Nestle.
Wonka brand candies include: Everlasting Gobstoppers, SweeTarts, Laffy Taffy, Wonka Nerds, SweeTarts Rope (formerly Kazoozles), Wonka Shockers, Wonka Bottle Caps, Wonka Fun Dip, Wonka Spree, Wonka Runts & Pixy Stix
HERSHEY – MAD MEN (SEASON 6 EPISODE 13)
Mad Men’s season 6 nail-biting finale contained extensive reference to the iconic confectionery manufacturer, Hershey, the largest chocolate producer in North America and one of the oldest chocolate companies in the United States.
In a pivotal scene, Don Draper the central character of the series pitches to a group of Hershey executives in their Pennsylvania headquarters. Draper weave one of his trademark nostalgic tales and tells a story of how he, as a small boy, learned to associate the company’s iconic chocolate bar with the affection of his father. It was an ingenious though fictional tale that hooked the audience.
Within seconds, though Don Draper destroyed himself and everyone around him with an emotional meltdown so catastrophic that his partners would indefinitely suspend him from the company that he had helped to build.
During the breakdown, Draper revealed that, in his opinion, Hershey’s should never advertise and he recounted a much darker tale of purchasing Hershey bars through ill-gotten gains stolen in a brothel.
Oh Henry! – Seinfeld
The Season 7, episode 12 of NBC sitcom Seinfeld (episode 122), "The Caddy", features a character called Sue Ellen Mischke, a socialite nemesis of Elaine Benes, a ‘braless wonder’ and heiress to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune.