According to this classic 1958 commercial, Mr. Clean does everything: floors, doors, halls, and walls! (I don’t think I’d take Mr. Clean to my diamond jewelry though as the commercial suggests). It turns out that Mr. Clean has expanded outside the home and into the car wash business.
In 2009 Proctor & Gamble teamed up with a small chain of car washes to create a Mr. Clean-branded national car wash franchise. Presently there are locations in Atlanta (9), Cincinnati (2), and Texas (2). While this geographic footprint may be small, the endeavor has a rather large branding footprint. Beyond just the name of the car wash, the car wash utilizes Mr. Clean brand cleaning products and also offers auto detailing services, oil changes, and other maintenance services (available in only some areas).
You can stay in your car if you’d like, but you’d miss out on the “comfort lounge,” which includes a complimentary coffee bar, television room, and even a full-glass view of your car going through the car wash.
And in case it isn’t clear from the picture, that is the Mr. Clean® Sud Soaker! – a water cannon that you can shoot at your (or someone else’s vehicle as it moves through the wash). Apparently some of the car washes even have gift shops (who wouldn’t want the home version of this fine service?).
I can’t think of many other cross-branding experiments quite like this one where a commercial-based character jumped this far from its roots. Sure, there’s Ronald McDonald, whose made appearances in television shows and even a feature-length movie (“Mac and Me” is a whole other discussion on overreaching by a major brand) but I can’t think of many others.
While I was skeptical at first, the Mr. Clean car wash has grown on me. It did receive a good review from this blogging parent. I just hope it catches on better than Mr. Clean’s first name – Veritably. Yes, Mr. Veritably Clean (1962). Although, looking back, I bet they’re happy they didn’t go with Thundercloud Clean.