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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

RiceSelect goes local for national success

Winner in Localization


Thirty five years ago, RiceSelect introduced the first aromatic rice variety to be grown in the US – Texmati. It became one of most celebrated premium rice brands, packaged in its distinctive wide mouth jar. RiceSelect expanded to a range of rice and grain products. However, their niche success didn’t leverage the rise of the foodie movement. RiceSelect was in need of greater brand recognition, but faced a problem within its category. Many people inherently found rice unexciting, or a purely functional part of a meal.

For the important holiday season, the brand wanted to showcase the grain’s culinary versatility. RiceSelect wanted to be seen as a premium brand and become a featured element of great meals.  Success is measured in overall awareness and household penetration in key markets.

Pre-pitch research yielded important insights. RiceSelect carries a premium price point and was already known by experienced home cooks. We explored their attitudes and product affinities. They’ll pay more for better ingredients to add better flavor. Research uncovered an essential attribute: every time they cook, they’re looking to make something truly unforgettable. Repetition isn’t satisfying. They experiment, riff on recipes, make opportunistic use of new ingredients. Cooking is a personal expression. This insight became the campaign’s way in.

Strategy and Execution

Notes of Improvisation reimagined the RiceSelect creative identity with a total refresh of their photographic and design aesthetics and introduced a tone of voice that better reflected curiosity and culinary creativity. We found inspiration in improvisational music, riffing off the elegant design of Blue Note era jazz covers.

Notes of Improvisation introduced four content themes: Base for Experimentation, Encouraging Spontaneity, Outdo Your Best, and Tips & Tricks. Thirty content videos anchored these themes.  Video assets and animated close up gifs amplified campaign content, propelled social sharing, and drove product engagement. 

Our media and search marketing strategies added a highly technical complement to the vibrant creative. We prioritized driving site visits that amplify searches for recipe ideas and experimentation.

A highly localized geo-targeting campaign drove trial with three key tactics: geo-fenced couponing, a store locator, and precision targeting within 2 miles of participating grocers. Our SEM optimization insured audience interest led to nearby trial (tracking store locator) and purchase (geo-targeted couponing).

New creative approaches were continuously tracked and optimized during this relatively short flight campaign.  Video and enhanced content assets were quickly identified as the most effective and efficient creative units, (measured by CPC and CTR), versus traditional static images.  We then leveraged these new assets Amazon shopping as replacements for traditional static product shots. Potential customers discovered new products and brands showcased in “real-life” cooking scenarios, increasing brand engagement and cross-product merchandising.


With a cohesive strategy prioritizing consideration and trial, and bold, recognizable creative working in concert across consumer touchpoints, we saw a dramatic spike in social awareness (2,100% increase in Instagram impressions), consideration (+8.8% boost in CTR) followed by a sharp uptick in sales velocity in all active major markets. Mobile devices were responsible for 53% of organic traffic and generated 86% of total CTRs.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Movement Strategy, RiceSelect