Maytag is looking for a new repairman -- and about 200 men recently auditioned to take on the cap and uniform of the iconic advertising character. In an open casting call Tuesday, one husky
salesman sang "One Is the Loneliest Number" to an imaginary washer and dryer, while a hospital worker tried to fit the cap over his dreadlocks and a young actor talked to an appliance like it was an
Clearly, the next Maytag Repairman is going to look different from the older fellows with hangdog expressions. Whirlpool bought the brand last year, and company
executives say finding a new repairman is part of a plan to revitalize it. They say they want the new repairman to be energetic, young at heart and outgoing -- and male. The country is not yet ready
for a repairwoman, according to their market research.
"If you think of other advertising icons out there ... where is Ben Crocker? Where is Juanita Valdez? Where's the Pillsbury doughgirl?" asks Jeffrey Davidoff, Maytag's vice president of brand marketing. "I think there is something that (consumers) see the repairman partially as a person, but really as a character. To be true to that character, one of the things we had to stick with a man."