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February 25, 2005

Jay Newell

ET liked Reeses Pieces

Research on product placement in the movies, conducted by Jay Newell, assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, will serve as the foundation for the March film package on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), a cable television network devoted to films. While many Americans believe movie product placement was born when a little boy made an extraterrestrial friend by laying a trail of Reese's Pieces in E.T., Newell said it can be traced back to 1896, when Lever Brothers' Sunlight soap appeared in multiple films distributed throughout the world. The 12 movies in the series (three shown per night) feature subtle and not-so-subtle use of brand-name items as movie props. The movies to be featured are: Scarface, Urban Cowboy, Gold Diggers of 1935, A Night at the Ritz, You'll Never Get Rich, That Uncertain Feeling, Love Affair, Father of the Bride, The Seven Year Itch, Three Guys Named Mike, Arsenic and Old Lace and Superman II. The movies will air at 7 p.m. Fridays, beginning March 4. Photo by David Gieseke.