BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Maytag Corp. is launching a nationwide search for a new Maytag Repairman as part of a brand revitalization under its new owner, Whirlpool Corp.
Created in 1967, “Ol’ Lonely” is the longest-running live-action advertising icon on American television. Only three actors have portrayed the Maytag Repairman since its creation: Jesse White, from 1967 to 1988; Gordon Jump, from 1988 to 2003; and Hardy Rawls, whose contract ends next month.
The search will begin with professional casting calls next week, followed by public auditions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The new Maytag Repairman should be determined, self-assured, approachable, trustworthy, hopeful, warm and optimistic, the company says. But the personification of dependability won’t be “your father’s Ol’ Lonely;” he will be an evolution of the character.
“You can expect the character to have a more relevant look and contemporary feel,” says Jeff Davidoff, Whirlpool’s vice president of brand marketing and communications. “Whether he’s a professional actor, a nonprofessional actor, a real-life appliance repairman who has always dreamed of acting, or someone who has an undiscovered acting talent, the new Maytag Repairman will be energetic, young at heart and outgoing.”
Responsible for more than 150 personal appearances every year, the new Maytag Repairman will play a major part in revitalizing the 100-year-old Maytag brand, Whirlpool says. Since acquiring Maytag last March, the company has launched a series of efforts to emphasize the brand’s heritage, innovation and dependability.
Open casting calls will be staged in Los Angeles on Feb. 17 at the Orpheum Theatre, in Chicago on Feb. 20 at Navy Pier, and in New York on Feb. 23 at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Visit www.nextmaytagrepairman.com for more information. The site will also include clips of contestants during the audition process.
Those unable to attend a casting call can submit 1-minute audition videos, DVDs or reels to: Next Maytag Repairman Search, c/o Carmichael Lynch Spong, 110 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, MN 55403, before midnight on Friday, Feb. 23.
The new Maytag Repairman will be named at the end of March.