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Suggestive Mr. Clean Earns Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review Top Honors

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick may have taken home the most coveted awards after Super Bowl LI, but Mr. Clean was also one of the night’s biggest winners.

The slightly suggestive commercial for the Procter & Gamble cleaning company beat out Bai, Febreze and Skittles in the 13th annual “Super Bowl Ad Review” at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Lumber 84 and American Petroleum earned the lowest honors on the list for advertisements that were potentially confusing and overly long.

While most of this year’s headline-grabbing advertisements were a bit more poignant, tackling themes of immigration and togetherness, the Mr. Clean ad stood out for its lightheartedness. The 30-second spot featured a woman at home following the company’s muscular mascot as he danced and cleaned around the house, only to reveal that it was her significant other the entire time, ending with the tagline “You gotta love a man who cleans.”

“Mr. Clean drew on its brand equity, making its position clear in a modern way,” Derek D. Rucker, Kellogg professor of entrepreneurial studies in marketing, said in a release announcing the review’s results. “Conversely, 84 Lumber scored at the bottom of our Ad Review. This spot took a long time to get to the message—and even then, it wasn’t clear what the message actually was.”

To rank the night’s commercials, the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a framework measured around attention, distinction, positioning, linkage, amplification and net equity—better known as ADPLAN. In the A to F grading system, which can be seen on the official Kellogg School of Management website, Mr. Clean and the aforementioned Bai, Febreze and Skittles advertisements all received A’s, as did Google Home, Audi and Ford. At the opposite end with Lumber 84 and American Petroleum were Michelin, World of Tanks, Evony and GoDaddy with straight F’s.

Matthew Korman
Matthew Korman is a contributing author and editor for Clear Admit. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked with numerous academic institutions, in addition to roles as a music industry writer, promoter, and data analyst. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.