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Maytag Picks New Repairman

Ian P. Murphy |

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Maytag Corp. has picked a new repairman after a two-month, nationwide talent search. Clay Jackson, a native of Richmond, Va., will play “Ol’ Lonely” as part of new parent company Whirlpool Corp.’s revitalization of the 100-year-old brand.
More than 1,500 people participated in the audition process, the company says, including professional actors, real repairmen, salesmen and stockbrokers. The search included professional casting calls, open auditions in three cities and mail-in submissions. Jackson says he decided to attend an open casting call in New York “on a whim” and tried to bring “something humorous and unexpected” to the character.
Jackson majored in theater in at North Carolina Wesleyan College and toured with professional groups after graduation, but gave up acting in 2000 to work with his family’s real estate business. “The opportunity to combine my love of acting with being a spokesperson for the Maytag brand was something I couldn’t ignore,” he says.
An executive search team chose Jackson unanimously from six finalists based on his ability to play the part, represent the Maytag brand’s qualities and keep the character relevant. He is only the fourth person to portray the advertising icon since its creation in 1967.
“The new Maytag Repairman will help revitalize the Maytag brand and its heritage by keeping one foot in our past while putting the other in our future,” says Jeff Davidoff, Maytag’s vice president of brand marketing and communications. “Clay is perfect for our new take on the role. He’s energetic, young-at-heart and outgoing, while still being dependable and reliable.”
While Ol’ Lonely is often depicted as having nothing to do thanks to Maytag dependability, the role is a full-time job demanding many national television, radio, print and public appearances. Next month, Jackson will appear in a new Maytag advertising campaign and begin making appearances throughout North America.
Visit www.nextmaytagrepairman.com for more information about the new Maytag Repairman and view highlights of the talent search.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

American Drycleaner

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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