The lonely Maytag repairman is getting a new lease on life as the Maytag Man - a younger, stronger version that is taking on a slightly different role in order to become more contemporary and to strike an emotional chord with female consumers.
Calling it "a transformation of the widely known and iconic Maytag Repairman," the brand says the Maytag Man is assuming a new role as the machine, but familiar features like his blue suit and hat remain.
In other words, whereas the Maytag Repairman was bored because he had no broken appliances to fix, the Maytag Man is featured in a series of videos in the role of the actual appliances. Or, as Maytag puts it, he is "nestled in the kitchen baking a turkey, potatoes and mini cupcakes to perfection as a large-capacity double oven," or, "tucked under the counter, cutting through hard-to-scrub grease as a Maytag Jetclean dishwasher with PowerBlast cycle and the most powerful motor on the market."
"The character's matter-of-fact helpfulness, humorous quips and dependable, machine-like behavior aim to depict Maytag brand's key attributes of reliability, durability and power," the brand says.
The Maytag Manthem video, which introduces the Maytag Man and was posted January 8, had about 1,100 views as of January 12.
Maytag says Americans will see the Maytag Man in multiple venues this year, including four national TV ads, which can also be found on YouTube or the Maytag Man site.
The site also includes a "Put Maytag to the Test" segment that allows consumers to select so-called challenges that highlight various appliance features such as high-pressure spray jets or speed cool.
In addition, the Maytag Man site has shareable images and quotes for Facebook and Twitter.
Maytag has about 54,000 likes on Facebook.
The brand has also launched a Twitter handle for the Maytag Man, @TheMaytagMan, which, as of January 15, had about 70 followers. (@MaytagBrand had about 3,800.)
He'll also be promoted through "interactive digital elements and support," that launch January 13.
According to Maytag, the Maytag Man will be popping up in select cities in winter and spring, interacting with fans on Facebook and reaching stores nationwide in June.
"Since the first introduction of [the Maytag Repairman] in 1967, we're finally undergoing an evolution of the brand...for generations, he's represented durability, reliability and power. These virtues are still alive and we need to remind consumers of him and stay contemporary with [them]," says Heather Jones, senior brand manager for Maytag.
"This campaign introduces new creative that evolves the Repairman into the Maytag Man. He's actually a human embodiment of the machine and brings the motto to life...while our appliances are machines, they have human virtues of strength and dependability, which we bring to life by portraying him as the actual machine."
According to Jones, the primary target is women 25 to 54, with the goal of creating an emotional connection with her.
"We know she tries to go above and beyond for her family and holds herself to a very high standard and has high expectations for her appliances," Jones says.
The Maytag Man campaign will support current and new product launches for 2014 kitchen and laundry appliances.
The multi-million dollar campaign is "the biggest investment we've ever made in the brand," Jones adds.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014