If you have been around here long enough you know then that we’re (okay, I’m) pretty fascinated with the icons of the American home. See my articles on American Standard, on John Deere, on Bob Vila and on…. And when I received a release on this last week, I knew instantly that I had to give it a few lines.

Maytag Man Oven

On January 9th, Maytag released their latest marketing campaign. It, in whole, is centered around an updated, new look Maytag RepairmanOl’ Lonely as the character was dubbed (and I never knew his name), first appeared in 1967. He was the embodiment of, well, futility – the forsaken repairman assigned to work on the always durable and overly reliable Maytag appliance.

Gordon Jump as the Maytag Repairman

By my count, this is the 6th actor (across Canada and the US) assigned to play the role for the company. (The most recognizable arguably Gordon Jump of WKRP in Cincinnati fame and pictured at right via Wikipedia.)

But wait!

The newest iteration marks a sorta evolution of the role. In this latest run, the character acts as the appliances themselves.  While the iconic blue suit and hat remain, he drops the “Repair” part of his moniker, and in true superhero form becomes only …

Maytag ManFrom lonely repairman to dependable machine.

According to the company, “The shiny new Maytag Man has an entirely new purpose. He is the machine, diligently performing the tasks that an appliance performs.”

As a collection of new videos have him, he can be found nestled in the kitchen baking a turkey, potatoes, and mini cupcakes as a large-capacity double oven. He also gets tucked under the counter as a dishwasher, cutting through hard-to-scrub grease. He eliminates tough stains in the laundry becoming one with Maytag brand’s PowerWash® high efficiency system.

The character’s matter-of-fact helpfulness, humorous quips and dependable, machine-like behavior aims to depict Maytag’s key attributes of durability, reliability, and power.

“No longer is our brand character sitting idle, lamenting his boredom due to Maytag brand’s legendary inability to breakdown,” said William Beck, Senior Director of Whirlpool, Maytag, Value Brands & Channel Marketing. “The Maytag Man is a creative interpretation of our motto, ‘What’s Inside Matters®.”

By transforming the role of the brand’s icon, Maytag seeks to provide a voice for the unsung heroes of every family – for both the consumers themselves and the dependable appliances who help them get the job done.

Maytag Man Laundry

As part of the multi-million dollar campaign that will support current and new product launches for 2014 kitchen and laundry appliances, people across the country will be introduced to this new character in a variety of ways during the year. The Maytag Man will be featured in four national television ads airing March 3, and viewable now online on YouTube and at maytag.com/maytag-man/.

He’ll also be promoted through interactive digital elements, launching January 13, and will debut a new Twitter presence, @TheMaytagMan – an online voice for the machine. The Maytag Man will be tackling tasks across the country, popping up in select cities this winter and spring, interacting with fans via the brand’s Facebook page, and reaching stores nationwide in June 2014.

For more information on the Maytag Man and all of Maytag brand’s appliances, visit www.maytag.com.