Co. joins others for promotional ties to pic's 20th anni

HOLLYWOOD — Hershey’s Food Corp.’s Reese’s Pieces, which enjoyed a huge promotional windfall with the release of “E.T.” in 1982, is hoping to get another marketing jolt when Universal re-releases the pic next March.

Hershey’s has joined Kraft Foods, Dairy Queen and an array of other companies inking promotional agreements with Universal for the pic’s 20th anniversary.

In a promotional campaign beginning in February, Reese’s will mount national TV ads promoting the pic, an in-theater concession program and other offers.

Kraft is partnering with Universal to create “E.T.” tie-ins for 30 brands; and Dairy Queen is launching a promotional campaign at stores nationwide, supported with a weeklong TV ad campaign.

Beth Goss, senior vice president, national promotions, Universal Pictures, said the studio was seeking “media exposure across a variety of demographics and age groups.”

“E.T.,” she noted, “is one of our most popular and cherished properties.”

Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, whose shingle, Kennedy/Marhall still has a deal at the studio, the pic grossed $399.8 million domestically – Hollywood’s fourth-highest gross on record – and won four Oscars.

The re-release, which hits theaters March 22, will include as-yet-unseen footage, computer-generated enhancements and a digitally remixed soundtrack.

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