See the Spot: Mr. Clean Jingle Returns, Rocking a New World in Three Languages

Tune From '50s Is Part of Relaunch That Aims to Span Generations

By Published on .

Most Popular

Mr. Clean's 57-year-old jingle is making a comeback, with a hipper treatment and versions in Spanish and French, as the brand looks to refresh its appeal for a new generation.

New 15- and 30-second spots breaking today from Leo Burnett Canada aim to revive the jingle, which originally ran 60 seconds in 1959. They briefly feature Mr. Clean rocking out on an electric guitar, but generally, as he did years ago, he goes acoustic in every room of the house to prove his multi-purpose versatility. He'll appear in both digital media and TV.

"There's really something magical in the jingle," said Kevin Wenzel, associate brand director for North American surface care at Procter & Gamble Co. "It's amazing how our loyal fans will still sing that jingle back to us even though it's been at least a decade [since it was used in ads]. The jingle was relevant 50 years ago. And it's still relevant today."

The idea is to appeal to the loyal users and a newer generation, aiming to span demographics to reach people who tend to use multipurpose products such as the liquid cleaner and Magic Eraser for deep-cleaning.

While a Spanish-language version of the Mr. Clean jingle previously was used in Mexico, this is the first time the brand has produced U.S. Spanish-language ads with it. Leo Burnett created both versions, along with a French one for Quebec. Ultimately, the jingle might make a comeback in other global markets, Mr. Wenzel said.

Bringing back the jingle is in line with what P&G Global Brand Officer Marc Pritchard is encouraging brands to do -- which is work on a "creative canvas" across media, and "get really clear on the assets, including the iconic assets, that define the brand," Mr. Wenzel said. "We've also been encouraging all of our brands to go back to our roots."

Advertising Age Player

Mr. Clean has taken something of a backseat to P&G's newer cleaning and household brands Swiffer and Febreze in this century. But it's still a $304 million brand in U.S. stores alone, according to IRI data, albeit with sales down 1.7% for the 52 weeks ended June 12.

The brand also has been muscled out somewhat in recent years by Clorox Co.'s faster-growing Pine-Sol, which has heavily targeted the fast-growing Hispanic market, and Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s Fabuloso among other liquid cleaner brands that have made the journey north from Mexico.

The jingle revival "marks a more deliberate investment in the Spanish-language segment," Mr. Wenzel said. "We view this as a relaunch of the brand, and are bringing an investment behind it accordingly."