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Rana has been described as "a national treasure and major celebrity" in Italy.
His company began in 1961 when Rana started making tortellini in the Italian village of San Giovanni Lupatoto, near Verona. The pasta was initially made by hand, but with increasing demand Rana switched to machine-made pasta in 1968. In the 1980s, the Rana brand expanded throughout all of Italy. Today, Rana describes his company as "the unchallenged leader in the European fresh pasta market."
However, Rana owes its reputation to a groundbreaking, advertising campaign, begun in the early 1990s, based on the personification of the producer, in an attempt to reassure consumers of the authenticity of its products. This concept was not new, since there had been earlier similar campaigns, such as Gancia or Clement Ciccarelli with his toothpaste Pasta del Capitano, Cesare Ragazzi with his "I have a wonderful idea on the head" or Renzo Valsecchi, who was selling mattresses himself on TV, and had a shop just in San Giovanni Lupatoto, the same territory where it operated the furniture Centomo which in turn had advertising so "strange", interpreted by its holder, who found space on national newspapers.
In the case of Giovanni Rana, however, considerable advertising expenditure brought more exposure and more notoriety. Initially Rana did not believe in advertising, so in 1983 only one spot on Telenuovo, the local broadcaster of Verona, aired. He was convinced to switch to national television by the small agency "IL VOLO" of Verona and Rana’s wife, Maria Laura Murari, who was the first person in a Rana advert. The first advert was designed and produced by the movie director Mauro Vittorio Quattrina and shot by Pratesi, in Pienza in Tuscany. The strapline was: "For the lifestyle of today, a great tradition of goodness"
The creative director, Mauro Vittorio Quattrina said that Rana preferred to invest in sheds than in advertising, but that his wife Laura was the most enthusiastic. He also recounts an anecdote: During the shooting of the first spot, the agency proposed to Giovanni Rana the idea of him being the testimonial of his product for the next campaign (1986 Art & copy Mauro Quattrina story board designer Elena Fattorelli), but Rana said: "No, because I'm carrying a few extra kilos I don't want people to think that the tortellini make you fat."
The small campaign based on Quattrina's idea, on Mediaset, was a success and the brand grew in sales. But Rana, despite the success of the campaign, changed the small agency. The IL VOLO Agency was the inventor of the Rana testimonial, who after two years became the testimonial of himself. The same Rana says at least three different versions, in its interviews, about "his" idea of becoming testimonial, among which one of them says he saw a man who was advertising his chickens in the United States, the other that has inspired, "A night", on Ciccarelli idea...
Television critic Aldo Grasso wrote: "The great dream of Giovanni Rana is this: he can afford to move his face from local TV to national TV" (TV undeclared, p. 31). Giovanni Rana does not currently hold more executive positions within the family, having sold progressively in the direction of the same to his son Gianluca.
In October 2012 the Giovanni Rana pasta company opened its first restaurant in the United States at the Chelsea Market complex in the Chelsea neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan. The same year the firm opened a signature restaurant at Regent's Place in London, England, which is its first eatery in the United Kingdom.
- Giovanni Rana fresh pasta in renewed TV advertising drive 2008-04-08. Accessed 2008-04-10.
- Giovanni Rana, "About My Company," giovanniranausa.com. Accessed 2008-04-10.
-  2012-10-25.Accessed-2013-01-24
-  2011-08-02.Accessed-2012-01-25