Maytag Touts New Oven’s Speed

Sprinter Johnson Runs While Chicken Bakes in Work From Leo
CHICAGO–Maytag compares the speed of its new Accellis 2X oven to that of world record-holding sprinter Michael Johnson in a launch campaign from Leo Burnett.
“It’s the only range that cooks in half the time, and we think there’s great parity between [John-
son’s] speed and our speed,” said Kingsley Evans, an assistant brand manager for Maytag. This marks the company’s first use of a celebrity endorser.
A 30-second television spot that breaks June 15 emphasizes quickness by posing a “fable about speed cooking” that pits Johnson against the Accellis 2X, said Steffan Postaer, executive creative director at Burnett.
As the sprinter races around the track, a woman begins preparing a chicken dinner. But when Johnson runs into the kitchen, dinner is already on the table; and there’s company. “Who’s fast now, Michael?” asks the Maytag Repairman, as he offers the sprinter a chicken leg.
The spot will run on network and cable programming favored by women. Print ads, also featuring Johnson and the Maytag Repairman, will break in September issues of magazines such as Working Mother, Cooking Light and Redbook.
Evans said the Newton, Iowa, company will spend more than the $30-35 million allotted for last year’s introduction of the Gemini dual oven, Evans said.
Maytag is not a sponsor of this year’s Olympics, but Johnson’s world records in 200- and 400-meter sprinting events, as well as his expected prominence in the games, made him a natural choice to link the oven to a “legendary speedster,” Postaer said. K