A Different Kind of Advertising

Video camera in action.

Video camera in action. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brown rice bread sandwiches. Frozen grape desserts. Those were some of the foods that you might see if you peered into my lunch box and that of my brother. Though our “nutritious lunches” may have been deemed ” strange looking,” we were lucky to have grown up with an understanding of healthy eating at such a young age, especially since the media liked to deter us from healthy choices.

Last week, my brother appeared on the Rachel Ray show as a finalist for the Uncle Ben’s Rice competition. The competition aimed to create positive reinforcement for healthy habits and encourage kids to make pledges for better eating. To apply, each contestant created a video making a healthy recipe using Uncle Ben’s Rice as an ingredient.

My brother was fortunate to be able to enter this competition, but I’m very proud of him for his hard work making it to the final three. The top three finalists were awarded $5,000 toward the family and the child’s college fund, $10,000 to cover the child’s cafeteria makeover (a project that would be used to teach children the importance of healthy eating), and – of course – a trip to be on The Rachel Ray Show.

What I didn’t realize, though, was the amount of publicity this single competition would receive. In a world where fast food restaurants prey on younger children through T.V. ads, promoting products filled with sugar and addictive additives, it is very hard for companies with healthier options to compete. This competition raised awareness about health and nutrition in an innovative way.

Last year in 2012, fast food restaurants spent $4.6 billion in advertising. Instead of competing with this number, it’s possible that the message of healthy eating and an increase in sales can occur simultaneously. If more companies could create similar opportunities such as the competition by Uncle Ben’s Rice, healthy eating could become “cool,” product sales could increase, and health could improve.

How else can we increase healthy eating? Comment below and let us know.

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Dana Howell

As an Executive Assistant to the CEO and President of Campaign Consultation, Inc. I primarily work on initiatives with Very Special Older Properties (VSOP), Transit Choices, and the School of Social Work. Prior to joining Campaign Consultation, I worked as account manager for a growing medical company, interned with both the U.S. House and Senate focusing on health care and national security, and served as part of the Commerce Department for the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen where I helped U.S. companies find potential business partners in Denmark. Read more.