Monday, June 4, 2007

Ol' Lonely Gets a Makeover

Maytag decided it needed a new image. Having been bought out by Whirlpool Corporation in 2006, they wanted to make a change. Needed to make a change. A big one. The old Maytag Man just wasn't going to cut it. So they began a nationwide search for the Next Maytag Repairman.

You'd imagine with a nationwide search that they wanted someone completely different from who they had before. Certainly they wouldn't choose some old doughy white guy. Or some older doughy white guy. Or two old doughy white guys. Absolutely not. After searching for their next commercial star through two rounds of auditions in three different cities, they picked the totally non-doughy, non-old, non-white Clay Jackson. Glad they took a risk on him.

Here's what they ended up with for their first commercial with the new Maytag Repairman:

To fully examine the expertly mangled concept behind this video, let's delve into this line by line:

Man: What's going on?
Woman: Maytag Repairman's here.
Man: Did the fridge die? I have leftovers.
Woman (amused) : He's fixing the copier.

She seems to find this particularly funny. I guess an appliance repairman fixing a copier is somewhat counterintuitive, but is it really amusingly so? It's not ironic. It's not Ross Perot fixing the copier. It's a trained technician fixing something mechanical.

Man: It was this awesome Kung Pao chicken? I wrote my name all over the box.

Ok, you're a douchebag. First of all, his delivery is rushed and kind of manic. Calm down, dude. It was leftovers from a $5 fast food meal. Also, I think writing your name once should suffice.

Woman: The fridge is good.
Douchebag: So it's really the Maytag Repairman?

"Really? THE Maytag Repairman? That gleaming emblem of American cultural capital that we're trying to reinvent by editorializing our own ads? Is it REALLY him?"

Woman (weirdly sexual): Blue suit, cute little hat... (to Maytag Man) So, you're trying to keep busy, huh?

Firstly, that hat is humongous. Secondly, way to delicately give away the premise of the commerical. Oh, that's why he's fixing the copier! Because Maytag machines are so reliable, he's got nothing better to do!

Maytag Man: You're running low on toner.

Wait, I thought he was fixing the copier. Running low on toner? You know what I do when the copier at the office is running low on toner? I put in a new goddam cartridge. You do not need a technician to do this.

Douchebag: (mouth agape douchebaggedly)
Woman: Oh, silly us.

Yeah, silly you. Maybe next time you should call in someone from Facilities to order you a new toner cartridge for your copier, rather than call an appliance repair technician.

Gritty Voiceover: The Maytag Epic. Solid steel frame, heavy duty shock absorbers. Now that's a Maytag.

Hell fuckin' yeah that's a Maytag, dude. Hell yes! They're heavy goddam duty, like a dirty old pick-up truck, they're shock-absorbing, like the clenched chest of a sweaty heavyweight boxer, they're solid steel, like the Silver Surfer's ballsack. They are not about to break down like some pussy washer or dryer. Oh, unless you bought a MLE2000AYW Maytag Front Loader. Or a MLE2000AWW. Or a MLE2000AZW, or any of the 25 different defective units that you can claim in a class action lawsuit. Hey, uh, Maytag Man? I think there's some work to be done on some actual appliances, if you're bored of copiers.

Maytag Man (resigned): Tell me about it.

Tell me about how you're not going to run ads like this anymore. Please.

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