Mr. Clean Jingle Writer Tom Cadden Dies

Former Tatham-Laird & Kudner Creative Wrote Words and Music for P&G Brand

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NEW YORK ( -- Tom Scott Cadden, who penned the classic Mr. Clean jingle that popularized the brand in the 1950s and '60s, died Nov. 2 in Glenview, Ill., after a long series of health problems. He was 83.
Thomas Scott Cadden with the ad-agency creation he put into song.
Thomas Scott Cadden with the ad-agency creation he put into song.

A self-taught musician, Mr. Cadden wrote jingles and produced commercials for many consumer products, including Pringles, Head & Shoulders and Bold laundry detergent.

P&G comes calling
Mr. Cadden joined the Chicago ad agency Tatham-Laird & Kudner in 1956 as TV and radio group creative director. The next year, Procter & Gamble came to the agency with a new liquid cleaner it wanted to market. The product didn't have a name, and P&G asked the shop to come up with one.

"The ad agency and P&G conducted market research using consumer focus groups and asked people to pick their preference from a list of names," said Tim Cadden, one of Mr. Cadden's three children. "The groups favored the name Town Talk, but the agency decided instead to go with Mr. Clean."

Mr. Cadden wrote the words and music for the jingle and presented them to his colleagues at Tatham-Laird.

"Dad said the agency was lukewarm about it, but Procter & Gamble loved it," said Tim Cadden.

Campaign makes debut in '58
The campaign created the now-familiar bald-headed character in a muscle shirt, and the icon and jingle were unveiled in TV and print ads in the summer of 1958. They made a lasting impression.

Mr. Cadden left Tatham-Laird & Kudner in the early 1970s to pursue a career as a freelance composer and writer. His work with dozens of movie actors over his career spurred him to publish a movie-trivia book, "What a Bunch of Characters," in 1984.

"He was talented and funny, a kind and generous man who was devoted to his family," said Tim Cadden. "He was a real-life Mr. Clean."

Mr. Cadden is survived by his wife, Loretta, of Glenview, Ill.; sons Tom Jr., of Phoenix and Tim, of Overland Park, Kan.; daughter Holly Soptick of Lenexa, Kan.; four grandsons and two granddaughters; and his brother John (Jack), of Los Altos, Calif. He was preceded in death by his brother Bill.

The family requests that any memorial donations be made to the American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, Va. 22312.
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