Similar to cleaning at my house, when I tried to breakdown the Mr. Clean Super Bowl commercial, I asked myself, “Geez, where should I begin?”Let’s start with the basics: P&G (the owner of Mr. Clean) paid approximately $5 million to ensure this :30 beauty showed up during the Super Bowl. $5 million! Holy 40-oz. Summer Citrus Multi-Surface Antibacterial Liquid Cleaner! $5 million is quite a bit, especially considering Mr. Clean’s best-selling product is the $3 Magic Eraser (according to Amazon). P&G needs to see approximately 1.7 million erasers get dirty this year for a positive ROI. Of course, that’s now how it will be calculated considering Mr. Clean has about 100 products to choose from (including rubber gloves and a car-wash gun). But in relation to the cleaning industry’s enormous $50,000,000,000 (that’s 50 billion with a “b”) in annual revenue, that $5 million spot is just a drop in the bucket… so there’s some room to take a chance.
Getting back to the commercial, “Cleaner of Your Dreams,” we open up on a familiar scene for many — a dirty stove. The actress, despite living in a seemingly picturesque and spotless home with soft chirps from peaceful birds, seems briefly distressed. That is, until a new shiny object comes walking her way. It’s the new beefcake version of Mr. Clean, and he’s “got what she wants” according to the lyrics of the now mood-changing tone. Mr. Clean takes a swipe at the stove (probably with a Magic Eraser) and, while it’s immediately clean, he’s not satisfied. He needs more. He needs… the bathroom.
Spray, spray. Swipe. Longing stare into love.
At this point, Sarah just can’t take it anymore. The tipping point was when the Vin Diesel of dirt cleaners got the scuffmark off the living room wooden floor. Boom. Mic drop. Sarah’s hands have to go ravaging through her hair as “I’ll be your ecstasy” blares to the football-loving audience.
“Sarah? Sarah?” Darn. Time to come back to reality, Sarah. That Mr. Clean you’ve been fantasizing about is just your typical middle-aged-I-don’t-have-my-life-together-and-all-I-can-do-is-deliver-punch-lines-and-be-the-butt-of-jokes-overweight-actor-husband delivering the spot-on line, “Clean enough?”
Yes, Mr. Middle-aged-I-don’t-have-my-life-together-and-all-I-can-do-is-deliver-punch-lines-and-be-the-butt-of-jokes-overweight-actor-husband, it is. But Sarah wants to make it messy again (thanks Sarah) and go all Reggie White and sack Mr. Middle-aged-I-don’t-have-my-life-together-and-all-I-can-do-is-deliver-punch-lines-and-be-the-butt-of-jokes-overweight-husband on the couch.
Is the commercial as cheesy as I just made it sound? Yup.
But it is also memorable with humor. It speaks directly to the intended audience (without boring the rest in the room). It shows value in the product and also nails what most trying-to-be-funny commercials lack: brand recall.
This commercial passes the white glove test, and gets the thumbs up from me.