Roomba Says, ‘Let Robots Do Dirty Work’

BOSTON The Gate Worldwide targets “Chief Home Officers” in its first ad campaign for iRobot’s Roomba automated vacuum cleaner.

The work from the independent shop in New York is decidedly tongue-in-cheek and introduces a new tagline, “Let a robot do your dirty work.” A 30-second TV spot breaking this week shows a mom who says she lives “with a bunch of animals,” her family, who are shown making a mess. Luckily, iRobot’s Roomba is on hand to put things right. The spot is called “Animal House” (the husband and kids are literally depicted as barnyard denizens.)

“The Chief Home Officer in our spot realizes that cleaning up after her family is a never-ending chore,” said David Bernstein, agency ecd. “But at least she can delegate it to a robot.”

Simon Cole directed and Bob Samuel produced the effort, with Bernstein handling copy and Bill Schwab serving as art director.

The Gate added iRobot to its roster in August, tasked with repositioning its consumer unit, which manufactures the popular iRobot and Scooba units.

Print and online elements are also on tap.

The Burlington, Mass.-based client worked with various agencies in the past, such as Gardner Nelson + Partners in New York, which in late 2005 fashioned a campaign tagged “I love robots.”

“The Gate’s marketing insight and ability to communicate iRobot’s Home Robots ‘reason for being’ uncovered product benefits and new market segments that we can own,” said Matt Palma, the client’s vp, sales and marketing, when the shop was hired. “This insight set The Gate apart from its competitors in the review for our business.”

The client spent about $1 million on ads through the first half of 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (Despite that modest outlay, in past years the company has spent $10-15 million in U.S. measured media.)

Claiming to handle more than $250 million in client business, the agency also has offices in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Johannesburg.

IRobot marked the Gate’s second major client addition in New England in the past year, following its win last year of State Street Global Advisors.