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After 46 years, Maytag is giving its familiar mascot a makeover for the first time. In a multimillion-dollar campaign that begins this week, the character will be dressed snappier; played by a more attractive, dimple-chinned, slimmer actor; and will no longer be portrayed as a repairman with nothing to do.
Instead, the rugged new Maytag Man will show up in commercials as a symbol of the machines themselves: sitting under the counter next to the sink as a woman hands him her dirtiest dishes, for example, or magically tumbling a load of laundry in midair.