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By Published on .

The Maytag Repairman finally has company -- lots of it.

In a $30 million to $35 million campaign breaking this week, the lonely standard-bearer for Maytag's dependability unveils a new product, new tagline and a different way of advertising kitchen appliances.

The commercial for the Gemini Range opens with all the epic drama, tension and trick photography you never associate with kitchens and a couple of things you do: pepperoni pizza and tuna noodle surprise. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is the agency.

John Thomas, Maytag's director of brand management, said the budget is more than the marketer has spent for previous introductions. Maytag spent $69.8 million on measured media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.


A 30-second spot that started running July 4 and a :60 to be rolled out in early August are in the "Braveheart" mode, with yelling, pizza-wielding children and shouting throngs of casserole-armed adults running toward each other on a battlefield. They appear ready to break into open combat when the Maytag Repairman intervenes with a dual-oven range that can accommodate both appetites.

The no-longer-solo icon shows his newfound associates Maytag's stand-alone dual-oven range, which can cook different dishes in two different compartments. The oven thereby can satisfy parents wanting nutritious casseroles and kids eager for pizza.

Willy Cannon, art director on the campaign at Burnett, said his team wanted the spot to mirror the heightened emotion of dealers and consumers who had seen the new dual oven in focus groups and at trade shows.


"Because the response for the product was so passionate, it led us to create a commercial that captured that passion in a fun and interesting way," he said. "It was that really simple insight that sort of motivated us to come up with something as grand and as in-scale as this."

Gemini is the first standalone dual-oven range with four burners for the mass market, and Maytag also said its product is a space-saving improvement over wall units that have been around for years. It will be available nationwide by the first of August.

The TV spots will run on cable and network TV, including daytime and prime time.

They carry Maytag's new tagline: "Maytag.com -- bringing innovation home," a change from "performance you can depend on."

"We're not moving away from dependability," Mr. Thomas said. "We're building on

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