Mr.Clean and its powerful storytelling technique

The advertisement that I liked the most for 2017 Super Bowl was a commercial to advertise a cleaning product of the brand Mr. Clean. It was a 30 second commercial that featured an animated Mr. Clean character, who was showing off his sexy dance moves while doing the housework in his tight white t-shirt and matching pants to show his body features, and a woman instantly attracted to him. It’s a humorous commercial ad that targets at housewives who do housework. As Mr. Clean showed up at the start of the ad, it was obvious that this ad was promoting a cleaning product. But the company identified itself at the end of the video with a slogan saying: “you gotta love a man who cleans.” And then the name of the company appeared. From my point of view, this ad did tell a story to its audience, and it also contained multiple acts as defined in narrative structure. The exposition was at the start of the ad when the woman was frustrated about doing the housework. Then it had the rising action when Mr. Clean showed up and gained the woman’s attention. This part involved multiple plots and also took up most of the story. The climax is the peak of the wave and the highest point of a story, in this ad it would be when Mr. Clean was cleaning the house for her and they had some interactions and eye contacts. The falling action would be when she came back to reality and realized it wasn’t Mr. Clean. Instead, it was her husband and she felt more attracted to him. The denouement was the slogan and the company’s name to conclude this ad and story.

Keith A. Quesenberry thinks that it’s all about story telling when it comes to Super Bowl commercials. According to his research, He found out that people preferred commercials with dramatic plotlines significantly higher than ads without clear exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. These commercials are also much more popular than the ones without a clear storyline. He also found out that the ads that told a more complete story using Freytag’s Pyramid — a dramatic structure that can be traced back to Aristotle — were the most popular. From my point of view, this is one of the reasons why this ad went popular on internet and was successful. It perfectly followed a storyline where it goes from exposition to denouement. It presented a great story with clear storyline to the audiences. This ad went very popular on internet and many people started to make funny videos and memes out of this ad. Some Youtubers started to film their reactions after seeing this ad, and they also made pranks about this ad by making a guy dress like Mr. Clean and go on the street to ask people for their numbers.

I compared this 2017 Mr. Clean Super Bowl ad with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Commercial in 2015 and I think this year’s one was a better success. The 2015 ad had no storyline that goes from exposition to denouement, it basically just introduced the magic eraser product and how good it worked. It was dull and boring. This year, Mr. Clean developed a full storyline to present its product. The great use of music, funny ideas, and the interesting storyline were the essential elements of its success that caught audiences’ attentions.

In conclusion, I think a good story telling plays a very important role in commercials, and it was also one of the biggest reasons that Mr. Clean Super Bowl commercial became successful.