Retro Commercials: Halloween Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

I don’t know about you, but commercials can often take me back my formative years as quickly as any song or movie can. That is why we will continue this semi-regular feature on ’80s commercials that I consider particularly memorable, noteworthy or forgotten. Television commercials were much more influential back when we were forced to watch them without the luxury to fast-forward through and/or stream shows with limited or no interruptions. This issue will cover some of the Halloween spots for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the ’80s.

H.B. Reese invented his famous Peanut Butter Cup in his Hershey, PA basement back in 1923. After his death in 1956, he left the company to his children who decided to merge with Hershey Chocolate in 1963. By 1969, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup became the Hershey Company’s top selling candy item. And Reese’s has gone on to become the best-selling candy brand in the U.S. and one of the best-sellers worldwide. Not surprisingly, market research has also shown Reese’s as the top snack-sized candy for Halloween season as well.

Beginning in 1972, a series of commercials (developed by New York based advertising agency Ogilvy Mather) were run for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups featuring situations in which two people collided, one eating peanut butter and one eating chocolate. One person would exclaim, “You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!” and the other would indignantly exclaim, “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” They would then sample the mixture and remark on the great taste, tying in with the slogan “Two great tastes that taste great together.” There were many commercials produced along these lines (my favorite being one with two kids playing video games), but we will focus more on the Halloween versions.

Here is one from 1980 featuring a haunted house ride that I would consider at least a Halloween feel.

This is one I remember well from 1984 featuring a scary movie and a balcony. I always wondered who would actually bring an entire jar of peanut butter to a movie, though.

Another memorable commercial is from 1986 and features a Halloween favorite, Frankenstein’s monster. The plot is that the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup could have really been invented way back in 1797, but nobody listened to Franky.

Starting in 1988 and into the ’90s, the product’s advertising asked the question “How do you eat a Reese’s?” and the slogan switched to “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s”. Here is one more memorable commercial spot from 1990 under the new campaign featuring another popular Halloween monster…

Hershey parted ways with Ogilvy Mather in 2005, but that hasn’t stopped the successful and memorable Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials from coming (like the current campaign featuring the voice talent of Will Arnett saying #NotSorry).

There you go, a trip down memory lane in the form of TV commercials. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have always been one of my favorite candies. I was always very pleased to receive them at Halloween in my Trick or Treat bucket. And, yep, I have fond recollections of those ’80s commercials as well.

Entertainment Earth
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Old School Tim has an adoring devotion to the awesome '80s decade. He loves to relive and share that nostalgia on a regular basis. The Kickin' it Old School blog site has been retired, but you can still get daily doses of '80s goodness on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anywhere else they let him.