Turning Monday Into Rice Day

In Germany, Uncle Ben's Tries to Jumpstart a New Habit

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Brand: Uncle Ben's
Brand Owner: Masterfoods
Category: Food
Region: Germany
Date: September 2006 to December 2007
Media Agency: MediaCom
Media Owner: TV-Gusto, WebKoch.de, Freundin.de
Media Channels: TV, internet, mobile, ambient

When Germans think about what they are going to have for dinner, rice is rarely at the forefront of their minds. Germany is a potato country and at the end of 2006, rice consumption was falling. That was bad news for market leader Uncle Ben's. How to convince people to eat more rice?

Research indicated that preparing dinner is a habitual ritual. Consumers tend to rotate a series of approximately 15 recipes that they use on relevant occasions. Because rice didn't tend to feature in people's cooking repertoire, Uncle Ben's needed to create its own occasion. It decided to give rice its own day, much like the 'fish-on-a-Friday' tradition observed by Catholics. So Monday was designated "Rice Day."

In addition to a series of huge press conferences, Uncle Ben's created a guerilla campaign that involved placing Post-It notes on mailboxes and sprayed reminders on the streets. There was also a strong online campaign that communicated rice day every Monday throughout the year at the biggest cooking and female sites. Uncle Ben's also partnered with Germany's top cooking channel, TV Gusto, to push rice day.

The Rice Day campaign attracted strong media interest and the dedicated website received 50,000 hits in the first two months.

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