After Months of Anticipation - New Maytag(R) Repairman Announced



    Maytag Brand Makes its Selection after Embarking on Nationwide Search:
    Revitalization of the 40-Year Advertising Icon

    TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - Maytag brand announced today that Clay Jackson
of Richmond, Va., will be the next Maytag Repairman after conducting an
extensive, open-to-the-public nationwide search. As the new face of Maytag(R)
Home Appliances, Jackson will play a major role in revitalizing the
100-year-old Maytag brand and will help bring its unequaled tradition of
quality and dependability to life.
    More than 1,500 people participated in the audition process including
professional actors, construction workers, salesmen and stockbrokers. The
two-month search included union casting calls, open auditions and mail-in
submissions that were reviewed and evaluated by company representatives.
According to Jackson, he decided to try out "on a whim" and attended the open
audition in New York, focusing on bringing "something humorous and unexpected"
to the character.
    Having toured professionally after college, Jackson thought he had gotten
acting out of his system when he left the theater in 2000. "The opportunity to
combine my love of acting with being a spokesperson for the Maytag brand was
something I couldn't ignore," explained Jackson, who had been selling real
estate for his family's agency for the last several years.
    Jackson is the fourth person to portray the brand icon during its 40-year
existence - but don't expect to see your father's Ol' Lonely(R) repairman. The
newly announced Maytag brand Repairman is sporting a new uniform, a new
attitude and is an evolution of the character that was created in 1967.
    "The new Maytag Repairman will help revitalize the Maytag brand and its
century-long heritage by representing our core values with an eye to
innovation and the evolution of the brand," said Katherine Henderson, director
of brand marketing for Whirlpool Canada. "We wanted someone who stands for the
classic qualities that the icon represents while being energetic,
young-at-heart and outgoing, and Clay is the perfect choice."
    One of North America's longest-running real life television advertising
icon, the Maytag brand Repairman role is a full-time position that includes
multiple national television, radio, print and public appearances. Starting in
May 2007, the Maytag brand Repairman will appear in a new Maytag brand
advertising campaign and will begin making appearances across North America.
    Visit www.nextmaytagrepairman.com for more information about the new
Maytag brand Repairman, review the highlights from the search and find out
what's ahead for the revitalized brand icon.

    Background on the Nationwide Search

    On Jan. 26, 2007, the Maytag brand announced its first-ever public search
for the new Maytag brand Repairman. The search began with union casting during
the week of Feb. 12 in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, followed by open
auditions in the same cities. For those who were unable to attend the open
casting calls, mail-in auditions were accepted through Feb. 23.
    More than 80 people were invited to the callbacks that took place during
the week of March 5, and six people were invited to the final round of
interviews during the week of March 12. The selection process was based on a
variety of criteria including acting and spokesperson abilities and how well
the person could personify the Maytag brand's tradition of dependability and
quality and keep the brand and its advertising icon relevant.
    Jackson was unanimously chosen by the brand's executive search team as
the spokesperson capable of bringing the core values of the Maytag brand to
life.

    History of the Maytag Repairman

    The character first appeared on American TV screens in 1967. Jackson will
be one of only four people to portray the Maytag brand Repairman since its
creation: Jesse White, who retired in 1988 after playing the part for 21
years; Gordon Jump, who retired in 2003 after starring in the role for 15
years; and Hardy Rawls, who took Jump's place in 2003.

    About Whirlpool Corporation

    Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of
major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $18 billion, more than
73,000 employees and more than 70 manufacturing and technology research
centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid,
Jenn-Air, Amana, and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every
country around the world. Through superior manufacturing practices, Whirlpool
Corporation continues to nurture Maytag(R) Home Appliances 100-year heritage
of dependability. Whirlpool Corporations commitment to rejuvenating the brand
will ensure that all Maytag products deliver the quality that consumers have
come to expect from Maytag brand appliances. For more information about any
Maytag brand appliance, visit www.maytag.ca or call 1-800-807-6777. Additional
information about Whirlpool Corporation can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

    CLAY JACKSON - BIOGRAPHY

    Clay Jackson was selected to play the role of the new Maytag brand
Repairman in March 2007 from more than 1,500 auditioners and a group of six
finalists. An extensive, two-month nationwide search that was open to the
public consisted of mail-in submissions, union casting calls and open
auditions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Maytag brand conducted the
nationwide search as part of the appliance brand's revitalization since being
acquired by Whirlpool Corporation in 2006.
    As the new Maytag brand Repairman, Jackson will play a major role in
Whirlpool Corporation's commitment to revitalizing the 100-year-old Maytag
brand and will help bring its unequaled tradition of quality and dependability
to life.
    "On a whim," Clay decided to try out for the role of the new Maytag brand
Repairman and attended the open audition in New York, focusing on bringing
"something humorous and unexpected" to the character. Before accepting the
position, Clay had been a real estate agent in Richmond, Va., working for his
family-run business that started in 1939.
    Clay's path to acting began in college where he auditioned for a musical
as part of a course requirement. He booked the role, and his passion for
acting was born. After graduating in 1997, he acted professionally through
2000.
    Jackson is the fourth person to play the revitalized character. Created
in 1967, the Maytag brand Repairman has become an iconic advertising and
marketing figure and is the longest running real-life advertising character on
network television. The Maytag brand Repairman was first portrayed by Jesse
White for 21 years; then by Gordon Jump from 1988 to 2003; and most recently
by Hardy Rawls, who took Jump's place in 2003.
    Clay was born and raised in Richmond, Va. He graduated from North
Carolina Wesleyan College where he majored in theater. He currently resides in
Richmond with his wife Janna and two-year-old daughter, Anne.


    
                 The Maytag(R) Repairman Facts and Milestones

                           40 Years of a Brand Icon

    Facts

    -   Created in 1967, the Maytag Repairman is the longest running real-
        life advertising character on network television
    -   Only four people have portrayed the Maytag brand Repairman character:
        -   Jesse White, who played the part for 21 years
        -   Gordon Jump, who starred in the role for 15 years
        -   Hardy Rawls, who played the character for four years
        -   Clay Jackson, who was selected to revitalize the Maytag Repairman
            in April 2007 after a nationwide search that involved more than
            1,500 auditioners
    -   The Maytag brand Repairman has become a pop culture icon
    

    Milestones

    1907: After 15 years of successfully manufacturing farm equipment, F.L.
    Maytag introduces his first washer - the Pastime.

    1961: The Maytag "Dependability" advertising campaign is created and
    features real Maytag consumers talking about the reliability of their
    appliances. The first print ad is captioned: "Married in 1932. Got Maytag
    in 1933. Both marriage and Maytag still working."

    1967: After receiving thousands of consumer letters about its repair-free
    washers, Maytag Corporation launches the Ol' Lonely(R) repairman
    television advertising campaign. The idea for the Maytag brand mascot
    gets its start in Canadian radio, and eventually the sad repairman with
    little to do becomes one of the most powerful ideas in advertising. Actor
    Jesse White stars as the first televised Maytag brand Repairman who has
    nothing to do because Maytag(R) appliances are "so darned reliable." The
    first commercial - in which he instructs repairman trainees to spend
    their free time with crossword puzzles, knitting and the like - makes its
    debut.

    1986: The repairman gets a soul mate and companion: a sad eyed basset
    hound named Newton, named after Maytag Corporation's Iowa headquarters.

    1989: At age 70, and after 68 Maytag brand commercials, Jesse White
    retires as the Maytag Repairman. He is replaced by actor Gordon Jump,
    former star of "WKRP in Cincinnati."

    1992: Maytag Corporation celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Ol'
    Lonely(R) repairman character.

    2001: The Apprentice character, played by actor Mark Devine, is
    introduced in TV ads along with Ol' Lonely as part of the "Quest for
    Perfection" advertising campaign. Unlike Ol' Lonely who waits for the
    phone to ring, he uses his spare time to pursue and understand Maytag
    brand innovations.

    2002: The Apprentice character is introduced in print ads along with Ol'
    Lonely. The Maytag Repairman character celebrates its 35th anniversary.

    2003: Gordon Jump retires after 15 years of playing the Maytag brand
    Repairman. Veteran character actor Hardy Rawls assumes the role in July
    2003.

    2005: The Apprentice character is discontinued when Mark Devine's
    contract ends.

    2006: Maytag Corporation is acquired by Whirlpool Corporation in March
    2006; plans are announced to revitalize the brand and the Maytag brand
    Repairman character. The decision is made to not renew Rawls' contract
    when it ends in March 2007.

    2007: As a major component of Whirlpool Corporation's commitment to
    revitalizing the 100-year-old Maytag brand, a nationwide search is
    launched for the next Maytag brand Repairman-an evolution of the brand
    icon that was created 40 years ago. An audition process draws more than
    1,500 people who participate in union casting calls, open auditions or
    mail-in auditions.

    Clay Jackson, a real estate agent from Richmond, Va., who attended the
    New York open audition, is selected to play the Maytag brand Repairman.
    Jackson assumes the role in April 2007, donning a new uniform to
    accompany the revitalized character. As the new brand icon, Jackson will
    play a major role in reinvigorating the brand and will help bring its
    unequaled tradition of quality and dependability to life.


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Alyssa Stuart or Maggie Waymark, Harbinger
Communications, (416) 960-5100 x 236, 263, astuart@harbingerideas.com,
mwaymark@harbingerideas.com

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