Begin with Ben

Uncle Ben's, the No. 1 selling brand of rice in the country, launched a new integrated marketing campaign in the U.S. The global campaign, which debuted in Europe and Canada earlier this year, encourages consumers to "Begin with Ben" leading to a world of better meals by attracting healthier ingredients, encouraging diverse cuisines and bringing families together to enjoy a meal.


With increased focus on the national obesity problem, as well as the resurgence of home-cooked meals and family mealtime, Uncle Ben's believes rice is a powerful tool in the desire to marry taste and convenience with healthy choices and family satisfaction. The new campaign visually illustrates the journey of a single grain of rice to a family's dinner table and encourages consumers to consider rice as a great beginning to any meal - versus simply a side dish - with variety, flavor and natural health benefits all built in. Uncle Ben's packaging carries a "supports a healthy heart" graphic, and it has more than tripled its number of whole-grain products (including the recent introduction of Whole Grain White Rice designed to appeal to kids).


"Our new global creative campaign starts with a very simple insight that regardless of culture or cuisine, meals that begin with rice tend to be healthier meals, thus providing a very simple solution for consumers," says Tim Snyder, vice president of marketing, Mars Food US. "When consumers 'Begin with Ben' they and their families are embarking on a culinary journey that can tempt their taste buds while providing a nutritious foundation for healthy rice-based meals."


Advertising, created by BBDO, begins its run in the April and May issues of a variety of national magazines. The campaign also includes TV ads, a refreshed Website (, the launch of an official Facebook page, and integrated consumer promotions and public relations efforts. Each unique advertisement will feature a specific product, an image of a mouth-watering, healthy, rice-based meal, and words from the iconic Uncle Ben.