Swiffer Sweeps through the Noise


Sundays have always been lazy. After the daily grind of the work week and the night out rallies to kick-off the weekend, Sunday is the day when my couch and I are inseparable, draped with a blanket with TV remote and hot cup of something (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider) at hand. My head may be throbbing, but knowing I have the entire day to unwind makes it all worth it.


This Sunday was different. After a night of wandering around and soaking up the buzz of Fenway alive in the spirit of America’s favorite pastime, I awoke the next morning – bright and early – inspired to… clean.


I swept, Swiffered, vacuumed, laundered, wiped and loaded (the dishwasher) my way through Sunday morning, feeling uncommonly productive and invigorated by the instant gratification of my spotless house. When all was done, I succumbed to the beckoning of my couch and I felt glorious.


During commercial breaks in between Spike TV’s Bar Rescue marathon, my mind wandered back to my morning as I wondered what the catalyst to my outburst of domestication was when it suddenly hit me. I had been subconsciously influenced by the influx of cleaning product commercials – especially from Swiffer.


For weeks I’ve been delighted by Swiffer’s commercial featuring 90+ year-old couple Morty and Lee Kaufman. The 30-second commercials show us how a mystery box of Swiffer products drastically upgrades Lee’s old-fashioned cleaning routine. From old-fashioned mops, buckets, and dusters to the Swiffer Wet-Jet and Duster-Extender, cleaning goes from labored and dangerous to fun and simple.

“How Much Dirt Can You Manufacture?”


"Morty, are you listening?"
“Morty, are you listening?”

Swiffer found true stars in Morty and Lee Kaufman. Married for 44 years with 6 children, they’re the picture of a perfect union. They’re frank, they finish each other’s sentences, and even burst out in spontaneous song and dance, which they dubbed, “The Swiffer Dance.”


I wasn’t the only one charmed by the couple. Since airing this past July, these #SwifferEffect commercials have received more than 11 million online hits. With most of the ads on air featuring young, beautiful people, the Kaufmans easily cut through the noise and drew people in. Young and beautiful may inspire envy, but the Kaufmans inspire hope and admiration.


Commercials that sell youth and beauty encourage people to look at their past and draw hard comparisons between what they see on TV and how they saw themselves in the past. When the two don’t match up, people feel alienated and disappointed. However, commercials that showcase wisdom of the ages encourage people to draw hope in the future. Swiffer chose the road less travelled and it seems to be paying off.


What do you think of these commercials? Did it capture your attention as much as it did mine?