Mr. Clean’s appearance has changed significantly over the years since his 1957 debut. He was initially drawn to look like a genie by the creatives at ad agency Tatham-Laird & Kudner, complete with a ring in his nose. However, a second illustration was drawn up for the client Procter & Gamble. Mr. Clean looked more like a person than a genie in the second rendering. He was still dressed in his signature all-white ensemble and bald, but had an earring this time. P&G preferred this version much more, and Mr. Clean began making his commercial debut in 1958.
Now, the Mr. Clean we know and love today has long had a gentle jingle. This ditty reveals the advantages that come with using his product to ordinary folks ready to scrub their homes from top to bottom.
Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime
And grease in just a minute
Mr. Clean will clean your whole house
And everything that’s in it
Mr. Clean Mr. Clean Mr. Clean!
Two short years later, Mr. Clean was ready to get mean.
In 1960, a “new, mean, Mr. Clean” began appearing in commercial spots. He had his arms crossed; brow furrowed, and wore a frown on his face. What happened to make Mr. Clean so mean? One word: dirt.
Mr. Clean’s distain for dirt was so strong that his cleaner had improved its formula to fully wipe out dirt on the spot. Think you can do the job with other liquids, powders, cleansers, detergents, and soaps? Think again! They couldn’t take care of grime quite like Mr. Clean’s cleaning products.
Despite Mr. Clean’s serious dislike for dirt, this jingle is just plain catchy and featured plenty of close-up shots on Mr. Clean’s face. Audiences were sold that they would love the new, mean Mr. Clean and his products. At the end of the spot, Mr. Clean drops his stern facial expression and smiles and winks to the audience. He’s still that same merry guy ready to help out in the household!