I’d like to take a minute and tell you about Kimberly-Clark, a modest little operation in Wisconsin that’s been cleaning up our bodily fluids for the last hundred years, and mrW’s latest supporter.
Kimberly-Clark makes everything from Kleenex to Kotex. (Alphabetically of course, there isn’t much between Kleenex and Kotex, but you get the idea.) They manufacture safety equipment, medical supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, and a truly comprehensive line of diapers, including Huggies, Depends, Little Swimmers, Goodnights and something called Poise, which Whoopi Goldberg is very excited about. (They make lots and lots of diapers.)
In addition to making diapers for all ages, Kimberly-Clark is creative. A hundred years ago they designed the original cardboard tube inside paper rolls. Impressive. More impressive, nearly a hundred years later they’ve figured out a way to ingeniously remove the very same cardboard tube without affecting the way the roll spins. Hence, millions of trees have been saved, the planet has been rescued from certain doom, and the paper roll has been revolutionized for the second time in a century by the same company. Clearly, this is the kind of company I can get behind, so to speak, so I have agreed to appear in a new commercial for their unusually durable paper towels called Viva! That’s right, Viva! (With an exclamation point.)
Allow me to anticipate your question. Why would a guy with a public affection for dirt and a known aversion to exclamation points associate himself with a paper towel whose name conjures up opening night at The Moulin Rouge? I’ll tell you why. But first, let’s watch the commercial that will soon be adding to your daytime viewing pleasure. Click HERE
First of all, yes – that’s me, Mike Rowe, narrating in the third person. I know it’s a little weird but narrating in the third person for a national commercial is something Mike Rowe has always wanted to do, and this seemed like a good opportunity. So that’s what Mike Rowe did.
Secondly, yes – those are really my actual parents – John and Peggy. Having them in this commercial was a non-negotiable condition of my deal. So, Kimberly Clark agreed to cast my actual parents as my actual parents. (Truth is, I hadn’t seen my folks in a while and kinda missed them.) So back in mid January my folks flew from Baltimore to Hollywood for a happy reunion with their oldest son, and a first-hand look at the glamour of my chosen field.
The shoot itself went very well, right up to the point where the client realized that my parents were not only more talented than me, but much easier to work with. In no time, my folks were upstaging me whenever possible and charming the VIP’s at every turn. My mother in particular was shameless, ingratiating herself to the director as well as the producer, while my father kept busy by asking maybe a hundred thousand technical questions to whomever was standing closest, currying favor with everyone from craft services to the wardrobe mistress. (Especially the wardrobe mistress.)
Anyway, it was a really unusual day for all the Rowes.
I got filthy dirty while John and Peg were utterly spoiled – squired about in a fancy limo and waited on hand and foot in the privacy of their luxurious trailer. John and Peg have been insufferable ever since, calling me from Baltimore every twenty minutes to inquire about “future projects,” and “proper representation.” I suppose I should have seen that coming.
Aside from catching up with the ‘rents, there were other reasons I wanted to make a deal with Kimberly-Clark. Like everyone I’m in business with, K-C has been incredibly supportive of mikeroweWORKS. Here in Las Vegas, they presented me with one of those giant checks you can’t exactly walk into a bank with. Nevertheless, it was somehow deposited into the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, where it will be used for things like trade school scholarships. Thanks, K-C.
Any mention of mrW in a national TV spot is a big deal, and this kind of support means a lot. Kimberly-Clark gets it, and we’re talking about other ways to push mrW into the mainstream. (Maybe I’ll get a shot at the next Kleenex campaign, assuming they haven’t already booked my mother.)
As for the towels themselves, I will tell you in all candor that they really are a lot tougher than their name implies. K-C sent me a whole case, and aside from cleaning up a variety of culinary calamities, I’ve used mine as door mats, oven mitts, weather proofing around the windows, and extra insulation in the attic.
(Of course, I can make no official claim here on behalf of the manufacturer, and must strongly discourage you from using Viva! towels for anything other than their intended purpose. This includes substituting them for Kleenex, Huggies, Little Swimmers, Goodnights, Poise or Depends. Although Barsky has assured me they’re more absorbent than Poise…)
Anyhow, that’s what I’ve been up to, and that’s why I’m in business with Kimberly-Clark.
PS. My father, in his own attempt to upstage both me and my mother, offered an ingenious final line in a version that nearly aired. Had he spit it out faster, it would have made the final cut. (Sorry Dad, that’s showbiz.)