Clorox Enlists '80s Heartthrob David Hasselhoff to Tout Cleaners

'Baywatch' Star Heads to Vine, Pinterest for Social Media Campaign

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He could be your grandfather, but these are not your grandmother's cleaning products.
He could be your grandfather, but these are not your grandmother's cleaning products.

Clorox has enlisted David Hasselhoff, sexagenarian star of such 1980s TV shows as "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider," to front a social-media campaign behind a "Hassel-free" line products for millennials who rarely clean as diligently as their grandparents did.

Mr. Hasselhoff stars in Vine videos and Pinterest cleaning guides, backed also by paid social media on Facebook and Twitter, to tout "convenient clean" products, said Rita Gorenberg, public relations and social media group manager for Clorox.

"More and more consumers aren't doing the more traditional clean that their grandparents did," Ms. Gorenberg said. "They' doing the cleaning in the cracks of the day – while they're cooking -- or dusting while they're on the phone."

Mr. Hasselhoff will also help solicit entries for a contest to conclude on "Hassle-Off Day" next week, in which Clorox will join Homejoy to provide house cleaning to three winners in New York City.

Besides his name, Mr. Hasselhoff was chosen for his enduring cross-generational appeal, Ms. Gorenberg said, including high name recognition, albeit somewhat campy, among millennials. And he's still in the game beyond Vine videos for cleaning products. He'll star alongside fellow 1980s heartthrob Bo Derek in the upcoming "Sharknado 3" movie on the Syfy network in July.

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The product line includes Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes, the brand's first entry into the electrostatic dust cloth category; Clorox ScrubSingles disposable kitchen and bathroom pads pre-loaded with Clorox cleaners, and Clorox Pump 'N Clean bathroom and kitchen cleaners.

The latter have "no harsh chemical residues," so people can use them safetly to clean a cutting board off after chopping onions and immediately move on cutting apples without washing, Ms. Gorenberg said.

One piece of evidence the "convenient clean" movement is strong – 21% growth in sales of pre-moistened cleaning wipes in 52 weeks ended Feb. 21, according to Nielsen data from Deutsche Bank, driven in part by last fall's Ebola scare but apparent before and after that.

Omnicom's PR shop Ketchum joins sibling digital shop Critical Mass, WPP's AKQA, which handles digital media buying, and independent United Entertainment Group on the project.

Besides the social-media campaign, a Hasselhoff-free product-focused campaign also backs the product line on TV and in digital banners.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said "Sharknado 3" would air on USA. The "Sharknado" series of TV movies appear on Syfy.

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