There’s More to It Than Bean Jokes

CHICAGO Gabriel DeGrood Bendt looks to move beans beyond their flatulent image in a new tongue-in-cheek national campaign for the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

“We’re really trying to change perceptions about beans, which tend to be one dimensional,” said Tom Gabriel, president of the Minneapolis agency.

The two-year outdoor effort is meant to stress the taste, health and nutritional benefits of beans while poking a little fun at the image of legumes, Gabriel said. Headlines from the campaign include “Live to be an old fart” and “Toot if you like beans.”

“Not many people know that beans come in an astounding variety of colors, textures or taste profiles,” said Gary Friskop, president of the Minneapolis-based association, in a statement. “Or that, in actuality, the more you eat, the less you … you know.”

The campaign also includes a Web site,, in which a song touts the health benefits of beans, and a national tour called the Beaning of America, which will include stops in Boston (a.k.a. Beantown), Denver, Phoenix, Detroit, Sacramento, Calif., and Tampa, Fla.

Spending is expected to be less than $1 million for the two-year effort. “We’re hoping there’s lots of word of mouth and that we get lots of unpaid media,” Gabriel said.