BBDO San Francisco Surprises Parents With Message for ‘Ben’s Beginners’

By Erik Oster 

BBDO San Francisco surprised parents by offering a service doing children’s homework for them as a way to introduce a conversation about cooking with their kids as part of Uncle Ben’s “Ben’s Beginner’s” program, which offers beginning cooking tutorials for kids online.

Unsurprisingly, parents were taken aback and offended by the idea of homeworkdirect, which purportedly took a handwriting sample and then completed students homework for them. The reactions (which we’re going to assume, like the stunt itself, were staged) were what you’d expect: with parents citing the need for children to learn on their own and even telling the homeworkdirect representatives they should be ashamed of themselves.

When the real message behind the stunt was revealed, the parents had to stop and think. Most, if not all, respondents admitted to rarely, if ever, cooking with their kids. So while they might agree in theory with the idea that their children should be learning to cook, in practice they resembled the homework direct service. While the concept is an intriguing one, the stunt isn’t all that convincing and runs for entirely too long, clocking in at nearly two minutes. Still, we have to admire the intention behind the stunt as getting more kids in the kitchen is an admirable goal.