Hoover “Soul Mate”

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy obsession with cleanliness. But when you make a spot that’s based on the premise of giving “clean freaks” the ultimate prize, a new Hoover vacuum, you might expect some real extremes and, of course, some freakiness. We get none of it in this spot, one of the first for the brand by The Martin Agency. It shows how hard “clean freaks” have it by contrasting the behavior of the Oscars and Felixes among us. We’re first introduced to twin babies eating a meal — one is clearly disturbed by the mess its sibling is creating. Then two boys are shown playing in the dirt with their dump trucks, but only one meticulously cleans his. Just when you think you are watching the stories of the same two characters over the years, more odd couples are introduced: a college student breathing a heavy sigh as she looks over to her roommate, who is eating pizza while picking her toes, and a businesswoman poised on her chair cleaning her office window as another gives her a puzzled look. “It’s not always easy being a clean freak, but eventually your high standards are rewarded,” explains the voiceover as a couple shopping in a department store come upon a display of the new Hoover Platinum Collection that immediately attracts the attention of the wife. The ridiculously overused Etta James track “At Last” kicks in and the spot ends with, “Clean freaks rejoice!” That line would feel appropriately celebratory if the spot actually portrayed some real messy Oscars or at least more Felixes suffering for their cleanliness. –Eleftheria Parpis