100 Days of Leo Burnett, the Midwestern Master of Mascots DAY 63

Here’s today’s Leo:

Agencies that create great advertising may become big agencies, but their goal remains the creation of great advertising.” — Leo Burnett

One of my favorite brands is Maytag, mostly due to their maniacally commitment to their “Lonely Repairman” campaign, which has been going for *50 years* (since 1967), with many significant updates over the decades. It’s an interesting story because the actual corporate history of Maytag is somewhat checkered, and a great example of corporate hubris and the risks of over-expansion and product de-contenting: Link

For a rosier story, check out this video on the “Maytag Story” (don’t read the comments on YouTube if you don’t want to be sad):

However, despite some sooper-stoopid moves on the product front, the power of the Maytag Repairman campaign has managed to sustain a brand which should have succumbed to negative consumer feedback years ago.

It’s not dissimilar to what happened to Schlitz on the product front — which I’m saving for a juicy post in the future — but in the case of Schlitz they also messed up their branding and advertising, leading to a total collapse of the brand.

So, here’s a couple of the original Maytag Repairman ads from 1967 — here’s the first one in which Jesse White unmistakably alludes to his former role as ‘Donelli’ in The Reluctant Astronaut: “At ease men! Now, you men have all volunteered to be Maytag Repairmen and so I’m gonna give it to you straight. Maytag washers and dryers are built to last. That makes the Maytag Repairman the loneliest guy in town!“:

And here’s another Jesse White ad from the 1960s:

Here’s a 1970s version (with Brian Dennehy — he’s everywhere, even in my family videos!!!):

Here’s a 1980s version (Jesse White‘s final commercial for Maytag):

A 1990s version (with Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson (Gordon Jump) from WKRP in Cincinnati):

A 2000s version:

… and look how THE SAME IDEA is still killing it today, updated for 2017 vernacular with the new “Maytag Men” commercials:

Wow, that’s the power of a great idea. Thanks @LeoBurnett!

BTW: Also loving the selling line since 2014 — “What’s Inside Matters®” … that’s a great example of a memorable selling line which reinforces the product benefit and elevates the brand to a higher level.

#madmen #advertising @LeoBurnett #LeoBurnett #MaytagRepairman

Continue to Day 64