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Elvis Presley Candy

December 01, 2006 | Other
Here is another new Elvis Presley product we found on the Advertising Age website:

Fat Elvis might have put deep-fried peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwiches on the map, but Skinny Elvis is getting the spotlight as Hershey Co. turns to the King to shake up Reese's sales. A skinny, early Elvis is being used to promote sales of Reese's candy.

Coinciding with the 30th Anniversary of Elvis's death next summer, Hershey will shimmy onto the shelf a limited-edition peanut-butter-and-banana-creme variety inspired by the rock 'n' roll legend. And the rollout will be accompanied by a significant promotional outlay.

The push comes as part of Hershey's effort to regain momentum for its brands, which have lost share to Mars during the last three months. Sales for Reese's -- No. 1 in the chocolate category -- fell slightly during the last year to $412 million. And while many retailers question the appeal of the new flavor itself, the power of the pompadoured pop star is expected to bring attention to the item in stores.

"Even retailers who don't do much with limited editions will with this one," said an executive close to Hershey. In part, that's because Hershey plans to promote it with far more pomp and circumstance than is typically put against its limited editions. Peanut-butter-and-banana-creme, which features Elvis (the skinny one) on package graphics, will include an under-the-label instant-win game offering a trip for two to Graceland. Other prizes include Elvis memorabilia and a limited-edition Elvis Nascar car.

Hershey will also place Elvis on the side of its Reese's Nascar car and will tout the Elvis tie-in heavily with advertising, in-store efforts and a major public-relations outreach during August and September, especially during Elvis Week 2007, which will be held Aug. 11-19. Because 2007 represents the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death, the event, according to the website of promoter Elvis Presley Enterprises, is expected to "be the biggest, most exciting Elvis Week ever."

A proven icon
This year's buzz aside, Elvis has done well hawking products posthumously, ranking first in Forbes' 2005 list of top-earning deceased celebrities with $45 million in sales last year. The King is featured in ads for the Honda CR-V, he'll be touted in a TV Guide tribute CD on the magazine's Dec. 11 cover and he has recently been licensed for everything from revolvers (the Elvis Presley "Taking Care of Business" Smith & Wesson) to keys. Zippo has sold out its limited-edition Elvis lighters annually for the last 20 years.

"Elvis is such a tried-and-true icon, using him is going to work [for Hershey]. The question is how big it will be," said Landor managing director Allen Adamson. That said, though, he added there is "potential upside and very little downside."

Steven Addis, president of Addis Creson, agrees that using the borrowed interest of Elvis couldn't hurt and is actually a great way to test a product. Given the promotional efforts around the variety, he suggested Hershey is thinking of rolling out a banana-creme Reese's variety longer term, and using Elvis is "a good way to get trial early on."

Retailers agree, even those who aren't crazy about the flavor combination. "I didn't like the way it tastes, but anything with Elvis has a possibility," said one Midwest grocery executive. "The girls in my office are thrilled." Even 30 years dead, Elvis still has a way with the ladies.

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Steve V wrote on December 01, 2006
Oh no - when will this insanity end? Another nail in the coffin of credibility!
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on December 02, 2006
Note to the clown who wrote the above,elvis was not over weight most of his life the way you and the rest of the world outside the REAL elvis fans seem to think,and doesnt it send a great message to the kids that how much you weigh is far more important then what you do with your life or how you go about your life,elvis has never gotten the respect he deserves,hes either the too goody goody mommas boy or the out of control pill popper who ended every sentence with thank ya thank ya very much,and by allowing his named to be slapped on every freakin product there is only helps the myth of what elvis was and is still about,i have no respect for epe or anyone else involved in making these decisions,youll never see beatlles or any other major groups or artists tossed around the way elvis has been and will be,i see no end to the insults,i think alot of this atttiude towards elvis comes from envy, and saying a guy whos been dead for 30 years has still got a way with the ladies is also an insult, respect,does anyone remeber the meaning of it?
JerryNodak wrote on December 02, 2006
I love bananas, but I hate banana flavored candy. The candy thing is pretty yacky(even for EPE). Although it is well known Elvis ate plenty of junk food. However, having Elvis' image on the side of the Reese's Nascar entry is a good thing. Nascar is big in the U.S. Especially in the Deep South. It'll "buy" Elvis and his image tons of free positive publicity. More than he'd get here with another (any) cd release.
Greg Nolan wrote on December 02, 2006
Jerry and Mature', you both make great but very different points. I bristle at that mention of the so-called "skinny Elvis," and the overall tackiness of this, but on the other hand, as Jerry points out, a little publicity isn't a bad thing, NASCAR especially. It's just a reminder to people that his legacy still counts. That said, this one is okay with me, but the endorsing of impersonators by EPE in anyway and the selling of Elvis ducks continues to rub me the same way. Marketing is a tricky game but some of it is inevitable and has to be done to drum up interest.
Greg Nolan wrote on December 02, 2006
About ducks and impersonators (so-called "ETA's"), I meant to say that they "rub me the *wrong* way"! Indirectly (or more directly) this candy bar does again summon up Elvis' eating habits, which is mainly a bad thing for the Elvis legacy and in that way it bothers me. One can imagine the smirking, hillarious-only-to-them local news anchors making cracks about "the Fat Elvis" as this new blurb is their last story of the night. On the other hand, it reminds us that Elvis remains an affectionately remembered icon and after all, American love their sweets and love eating. In that way, I don't get the disdain people have for his eventual weight-gain. How American to be over-weight? Maybe that's why in the rest of "real" America (not the coasts and not the media), Elvis remains a "hero to most," - he's one of *us* in so many ways.
MauriceColgan wrote on December 03, 2006
Greg there was a time I was enraged listening to TV, and Radio show presenters having a cheap laugh at Elvis (and his fans) expense, because of one thing or another. But as I got to know the culprits I found they were not immune to blistering email messages, and even snail mail. Some of my hard-hitting comments were actually broadcast by the guilty parties:-) In an ideal world people would focus on Elvis's wondeful voice but it seems the spiteful, arrogant, and jealous guys are always close by. Why not use them to our advantage? Meanwhile Elvis is on our TG4 TV here in Ireland tonight. All about a sweater! A clip of Elvis singing "I Dont't Care" shown a dozen or so times imprints Elvis's real very cool image on young minds.
Devon wrote on December 12, 2006
Please tell me this is a joke.
tilchkitten wrote on July 18, 2007
the one i got has a 1970 elvis on it and the candy taste good but you taste mostly banana but i like i'll defently get more.