Benton Harbor, Mich. — The Maytag Repairman has been recast following a nationwide search for the latest man fit to wear the blue uniform. Clay Jackson of Richmond, Va., will represent the new face of the brand, which was acquired by Whirlpool last year and, according to an announcement last fall, will be facing a series of rebranding initiatives into the next year.
In order to find Jackson, Maytag hosted its’ first-ever open-to-the-public search at the beginning of this year. According to the company, more than 1,500 people tried for the role at union calls and open auditions in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. It took about two months and a series of callbacks to sort through the contenders before it was decided that Jackson, a former actor who has been selling real estate for the past few years, would fit the bill.
A new advertising campaign starring featuring Jackson will kick off in May. He will appear in a variety of TV, radio and print ads and will also begin making public appearances across North America.
Jackson is the fourth person to take up the role since the character debuted in 1967. Traditionally, the character was called Ol’ Lonely and was portrayed in the ads as having nothing to do. It seems that the brand’s new owners are taking a new approach to the repairman and, according to a release, are giving him a new uniform and a new attitude. The release indicates that the role will be evolving to make the character more active.
A spokesperson for Maytag told TWICE that the repairman will likely no longer be depicted as “sitting around waiting for the phone to ring” but rather out and about “interacting with pop culture.”