The New Face of Mr. Clean is African-American

Mikelle Street

The Mr. Clean we’ve come to know over the past 59 years is in need of a break. And for good reason — he’s been keeping our houses clean for a long time. So, for the next year, America’s favorite muscled cleaner will be taking a vacation.

In his place comes Mike Jackson.

Jackson, from Atlanta, Ga., is like the OG Mr. Clean in a lot of ways. He’s bald and has the same muscular physique, bright white teeth, and a gold earring.

Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad in Times Square in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)
Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad in Times Square in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)

He even has a predilection for cleanliness.

“I’m actually kind of a neat freak,” Jackson told Yahoo Beauty over the phone Thursday. “I’m kind of OCD in my home. Over the holidays I had my family over, and my mom would, you know, move things and I would have to move them back. I don’t think too many guys care about that kind of stuff, but, like, I care about how dishes are washed.” It’s a distinct but telling quirk.

Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot at Duffy Square in Times Square on January 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)
Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot at Duffy Square in Times Square on January 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)

But a notable difference between Mr. Clean the cartoon — who which was first created 59 years ago and has not changed much since — and Mr. Clean, his yearlong stand-in, is that Jackson is black.

The switch is the latest in a string of moves companies are making to diversify their faces, and beauty brands like those under the P&G umbrella, such as CoverGirl, are helping to lead that charge.

It seems that such concerns didn’t really play into Jackson’s decision to enter the competition to become the face of the brand; it was just synergy.

Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot at Duffy Square in Times Square on January 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)
Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson celebrates Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot at Duffy Square in Times Square on January 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)

P&G had an open casting call for the new Mr. Clean, which they promoted on social media using the hashtag #TheNextMrClean. That’s how Jackson applied.

“Well, I was actually scrolling through Instagram and saw the ad,” Jackson said of how he got involved. “I Googled it to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me, and then I just sent in a video. I actually use the product; I always have. I just felt I embodied who Mr. Clean is.”

The Mr. Clean team agreed.

“Mr. Clean has been tough on grease and grime for 60 years and we’re confident that Mike has what it takes,” said Kevin Wenzel, associate brand director, NA Surface Care, P&G, in a release. “We had so many great entries in #TheNextMrClean contest and we are very thankful for everyone’s enthusiasm and participation.” Other auditioners included Kellan Lutz, so Jackson definitely had his work cut out for him.

While it’s not clear yet what Jackson will be doing in his yearlong tenure, he thinks he’s already suited for the job. “I work in sports marketing,” he said. “I also emcee a lot of events for work — sporting events, fan festivals — I help get people excited for events. It’s a great transition for this.” And it may be.

Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson (C) and the Mr. Clean Sexy Dream Team celebrate Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot in Times Square. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)
Winner of the the #NextMrClean contest Mike Jackson (C) and the Mr. Clean Sexy Dream Team celebrate Mr. Clean’s first ever Super Bowl ad spot in Times Square. (Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage)

Next month, Mr. Clean makes a debut at the Super Bowl with a new ad campaign, teased here:


While Jackson is not in that ad, he will be at the Super Bowl with Denver Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware on Radio Row. Couple that with the recently released calendar Jackson shot for the brand, and it’s a pretty rocking start for the pair.

“It’s crazy,” Jackson said of the gig. “Sometimes I just giggle to myself.”

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