October 13, 2009

A Reese by any other name...

Reese's Pieces cups--those lovely salty-sweet things--have been running a new campaign for the last year or so. So far, they've produced a handful of 15-second spots that are all artwork and music--with taglines that, for me at least, leave much to be desired. Call me an elitist copywriter, but lines like:

Stop global warming or all the Reese's will melt.

Sharing is a nice gesture. Stupid, but nice.

The perfect three way: Milk chocolate, Reese's peanut butter, and you.

...feel like first-attempt cast-offs. Despite infusing a little New Order and Fiction Factory into the spots, the messages feel dull and predictable.

But looking up the things on You Tube, I realize I may be in the minority. The comments are filled with discussions about the music, the message, the originality. And I'm left wondering if I'm overthinking what are simply nice, memorable spots that are doing their job. Still, I cringe at just how easy the copywriter got off--and wonder again how a big agency can justify the big bills for something that could have been written on the bus on the way in to work.

The writing in one spot left me particularly bewildered--until I found its alternate ending. The ad begins like so:

And concluded with the bewildering:

(Forgive the picture quality--it's all I could find!) What in the world is a Reese? And how is it plural? And just who approved this? And how did anyone think this sounded nice? Or had any flow? Or wouldn't make people stop and say "wha...?"...? Until I found this ending on the Reese's Pieces website:

Ah, much better. Still terribly uninspired, but at least it's comprehensible.

Still, I can't help feeling that all this pseudo-coolness falls flat and feels forced. If any of these win at an awards show, I may just have to eat my hat. While listening to some bygone 80's hit, of course.


  1. Call me a Luddite, but nothing will ever trump the "you-got-peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate" campaigns from way back.

  2. I'm sorry Jake but you don't remember it like I do. It was "you got chocolate in my peanut butter".

    Take that.

  3. It's kind of a Yin/Yang thing, isn't it?

  4. Like asking which of the Siamese Twins were born first. The one on the left.