Uncle Ben’s Vows To ‘Evolve’ Its Branding In Fight To Banish Racial Bias
By Mikelle Leow, 18 Jun 2020
Image via chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com
In the same grain as Aunt Jemima’s mission to completely rebrand in this culturally-sensitive time, rice brand Uncle Ben’s promises to overhaul its brand identity to help eradicate racial stereotypes and inequality across the globe.
“We have a responsibility to help end racial injustices,” the company, owned by Mars, Incorporated, addressed in a statement. To ensure it’s on the right track, Uncle Ben’s will be “listening to consumers, especially in the Black community, and our Associates” for insights about becoming a more diverse brand.
“We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we will evolve Uncle Ben’s visual brand identity,” it confirmed.
The makeover will possibly include a name change, as The New York Times reports White Southerners would historically call Black people “uncle” and “aunt” to avoid using honorifics like “Mr” and “Mrs,” or last names.
Uncle Ben’s branding was inspired by two Black men who never worked for the company. The company was directly named after a farmer from Texas reputed for growing high-quality rice, a spokesperson for the brand told the New York Times. The logo itself was modeled after a “Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown.”
The persona, which has long been criticized as racist, had a change in clothing throughout its history from a bowtie to white collar.
We have a responsibility to help end racial injustices. We’re listening to consumers, especially in the Black community, and our Associates. We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we will evolve Uncle Ben’s visual brand identity. pic.twitter.com/n0e1pZ75OF— Uncle Ben's USA (@UncleBens) June 17, 2020
[via HuffPost UK, cover image via chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com]
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