Citizen Relations was tasked with developing a big and popular idea to solidify Mr. Clean’s cultural icon status infused in pop culture conversation, effectively capturing the hearts, minds and attention of millennials.
Citizen’s strategy was to leverage the figurehead and his iconic assets, placing him at the center of pop culture conversation in a big and popular way so he could share his legendary cleaning background with today’s millennial households. In July 2016, the brand premiered a new TV spot featuring a revamp of the classic 1959 jingle that put the Mr. on the map. Citizen locked marketing and trade exclusives that celebrated the strong, charismatic archetype and made his legendary jingle the star again, returning with a modern twist for the millennial household.
As Mr. Clean’s popularity took flight with the release of the new revamped jingle, the time was ripe to kick off the PR campaign. We leveraged the iconic jingle spot as a way into celebrate the man who helps tackle the most seemingly impossible messes with the launch of an online casting call. After nearly 60 years of being tough on dirt all around the house, Mr. Clean is looking for a replacement while he takes a much-deserved vacation… The Search was on for #TheNextMrClean. Citizen primed the media landscape months in advance by pitching always-on brand profiles of Mr. Clean that paid homage to the brand’s legendary, iconic assets – positioning him as cool again.
As part of garnering massive publicity for the program, we fanned the flames week-by-week, ensuring a groundswell explosion of conversation:
- Pre-seeded entertainment media with “leaked” footage of actor Kellan Lutz auditioning for a mysterious role and ultimately highlighting excerpts of the iconic jingle
- On September 7, #TheNextMrClean search was officially announced with the debut of Kellan’s full video at a live casting call in New York doubling as a media event to drive program awareness and entries to TheNextMrClean.com
- Issued Mr. Clean “selfie” kits complete with bald cap, earring and Magic Eraser to media and influencers, igniting a cascade of Mr. Clean social selfies with hashtag #TheNextMrClean
- Engaged pop culture influencers to join in the fun. Posts from Mario Lopez, Sean Lowe and Andy Cohen encouraged their fans to audition.
- Activated YouTube sensations to “live” report audition experiences
- Enabled a real-time response team to monitor for opportunities to organically insert Mr. Clean into the conversation
Within 24 hours of #TheNextMrClean launch, the Citizen team picked up organic coverage of the icon being referenced on the Tonight Show’s NFL Superlatives. Denver Broncos linebacker, DeMarcus Ware, read that he was voted most likely to be “The Black Mr. Clean”. What followed was a barrage of coverage from the Huffington Post, Jimmy Fallon in his opening monologue and so much more. After three months of reviewing hundreds of audition tapes, Georgia native Mike Jackson was selected as #TheNextMrClean. Jackson’s innovative and creative take on Mr. Clean’s iconic jingle plus his strength and bald head solidified him as the winner. Jackson won $20,000 and a large supply of Magic Erasers, starred in the production of a 2017 limited edition Mr. Clean calendar and joined Mr. Clean as he made his ad debut at Super Bowl LI in Houston.
The campaign generated 1.4 billion+ quality media impressions with a PR recall of 44%. Media relations efforts turned consumer sentiment around – cementing Mr. Clean’s pop culture icon status with millennials. Mr. Clean grew volume share of the all-purpose cleaner category by 13% in August 2016 and its consumption trended above 105 vs. one year ago. Additionally, the total Mr. Clean business was up 3% in volume sales in the 13 weeks after launch.