MSE Alumna Plays Integral Role in Super Bowl Commercial

MSE alumna, Christine Flaherty, B.S. PFE ’06, M.S. PFE MBA ’08, had a busy fall. As Brand Manager of Mr. Clean North America, Chris spent a substantial amount of her time coordinating the Mr. Clean Super Bowl commercial.

It all started in the summer when Procter and Gamble (P&G) purchased a jump ball ad for the Super Bowl. Five P&G businesses, Dawn, Cascade, Febreze, Swiffer, and Mr. Clean all presented concepts for the space. Ads were pitched at the end of September and the winner was announced three days later. Mr. Clean, the smallest brand in home care, won the multi-million dollar ad to air during the 2017 Super Bowl. As brand manager, Flaherty was in charge of getting the commercial shot, edited, and in the hands of Fox by the January 20 deadline.

This was Mr. Clean’s first time in the Super Bowl and the turnaround time was extremely short. “It required a lot of shifting priorities and budget adjustments,” said Flaherty. In addition to managing the commercial, they created a lot of pre and post-game buzz through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even received press from Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, and The Tonight Show.

When asked how her time at Georgia Tech prepared her for this moment, Flaherty revealed three key components that have stuck with her; “state your assumptions, show your work, and know what you expect your answer to be. Even though I’ve never worked full time as an engineer, I use what I learned from Georgia Tech’s engineering program every day.”

As to the success of the ad, Flaherty’s team scored a major victory by purchasing only a 30-second ad and ranking as high as other advertisers who spent twice as much on ads that were a minute or longer.  USA Today Ad Meter ranked the ad #6. The five ads that placed higher were at least twice as long as the 30 second Mr. Clean commercial. At an estimated rate of ~$5 million per 30 seconds, Mr. Clean spent half as much and still placed in the top 10. Business Insider praised the ad as the “most memorable of this year’s game.” As to social media, Mr. Clean received 26% more activity on Twitter than the next most discussed ad, Budweiser.

Flaherty sees the ad as a crown jewel on her professional resume, differentiating her from her peers. “An opportunity like this is a definite reputation builder.” She sees her future at P&G focusing on the growth and development of the Mr. Clean brand equity and sales.