Hershey Removes its Most Iconic Asset, the Peanut Butter Cup, in New Campaign

There are lots of well-known rappers, but how many wrappers are instantly recognizable to consumers?

That’s the basis of a bold new out-of-home campaign for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that eliminates the most important part of the treat, the Peanut Butter Cup. Created by Anomaly Toronto, the campaign is built around a jumbo billboard featuring only the wrapper of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, with a tiny smudge of chocolate and peanut butter stuck to the bottom.

Reese’s marketing manager, Azim Akhtar, said the online debate among Reese’s fans about whether the little bit of chocolate and peanut butter left on the wrapper after removing the Cup was good or bad confirmed that Canada’s most popular chocolate brand could create a campaign starring only the wrapper.

The campaign was inspired by a popular meme featuring NBA superstar Lebron James.

During the 2020 NBA playoffs, sharp-eyed hoops fans noticed that James’ hair was thinning on top, with some saying his head looked a little like the bottom of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup after some of the chocolate and peanut butter gets stuck to the wrapper. James himself acknowledged the meme, posting on Instagram Stories that he used to hate when that happened to his Reese’s, but that he ate them anyway.


“Lebron’s post solidified the idea that even if we remove our most iconic asset, the Peanut Butter Cup, from our advertising, consumers will still immediately understand that it is unmistakably Reese’s,” said Akhtar. “Lebron’s post had thousands of likes and comments, but we could sense consumers’ love — and hate — of the chocolate and peanut butter that’s left over. But it was also clear that whether it’s a ‘sticky cup’ or a ‘clean cup,’ the passion for the product never wavered.”


Internal research indicates that Reese’s consumers have a particular ritual when it comes to the Cups—whether that’s carefully peeling off the wrapper or licking off the leftover chocolate and peanut butter. Some even save that leftover little bit of the Cup for the final bite.


Reese’s turned the idea into a single Toronto billboard that is getting lots of attention and could be extended into other markets. There are no words on the billboard, just an image of an empty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrapper on that familiar orange background, a smudge of leftover chocolate and peanut butter stuck to the bottom. The idea is being extended with a social campaign on Facebook and Instagram based around the theme “Clean or Sticky: How do you uncup?”

Anomaly also created a video, “Reese Uncupping” which begins with someone removing the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup from the wrapper. The wrapper is then seen gently floating through the air, accompanied by the Lady Wray song “Piece of Me.” The spot concludes with the wrapper settling on a screen reading “Nothing else is Reese’s,” and a finger approaching the Cup to scrape up the last remaining bit of chocolate and peanut butter.

Akhtar said that the campaign reflects parent company Hershey’s willingness to take risks with its marketing that delivers business results. “This campaign aligns with our strategy to drive a deeper emotional connection with consumers, and what better way to do this than by leaning into a consumer tension that already exists,” he says.


The massive billboard is up in Toronto until December. 

The spot is running on TV and social media. 

Brand: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Client: Hershey Canada Inc.
Sr. Director of Marketing: Alexia Wharton
Sr. Marketing Manager: Mathieu Gamache
Marketing Manager: Azim Akhtar
Assistant Marketing Manager: Dulangi Kapugama

Agency: Anomaly
Executive Creative Director/Partner: Pete Breton
Associate Creative Director: Marko Pandza
Associate Creative Director: Jason Kerr
Art Director: Sasha Barkans
Writer: Cristina Pineros
President, Managing Partner: Candace Borland
Head of Client Services: Bryden McDonald
Business Director: Erin Wilbur
Account Executive: Lauren Zaitz
Account Supervisor: Carly Watson
Account Director: Rhiannon Enss
Group Planning Director: Mahmoud El Kattan
Strategy Director: Andrew Ahern
Head of Production: Marie-Pierre Toure
Agency Producer: Martina Esguerra
OOH Producers: Rob Murray, Tracy Haapamaki
Social Media Strategist: Matt Stasoff

Production Company: Trizz Studio
Directors: Oriol Puig & Laura Ibañez
Director of Photography: Nono Arruga
Executive Producer: Chris Vulpi
Head of Production: Simon Bath
Production Company Producer: Cecilia Gomez

Editorial, Post Production and VFX: Trizz Studio
Editor: Miquel Alcoriza
Colorist: Mikel Gomez
Flame Artists: Jorge Febrero, Mikel Gomez
Animator: Nacho Codinach

Music: Piece Of Me by Lady Wray
Sound Design Company: Ta2 Music
Director of Music & Voice Over: Steve Gadsden
Executive Producer/ Director of Licensing: Christine Leslie
Sound Engineer: Dave Clark

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