Lee & Morty Kaufman, an elderly New York couple is a hit for Proctor & Gamble’s Swiffer ad campaign.
Lee & Morty Kaufman are both 90 years old and have been married for 44 years. They have six children and five grandchildren. We know all of these details because of a series of commercials for a line of home cleaning products under the Swiffer brand that the couple is introduced to over the course of the documentary-style advertisements.
Here’s a longer version of the spots, from Proctor & Gamble’s “Power of Everyday Effect” campaign. This clip already racked up more than one million views on YouTube:
This series of spots stand out for most of us because it isn’t the typical script that goes on endlessly with feature after feature of a particular product. There’s no fast-talking announcer making the product sound like the greatest invention since the light bulb. And there are no blinking graphics popping all over the screen.
All of that is subdued.
What isn’t subdued is these real people, the funny things they say, and the cute way they still show each other (and anyone else in the room, including a camera crew) how much they’re still in love with each other. With the disclaimer, “Real people aware that their comments may appear in advertising,” they keep the often-amusing comments and the real look into their life together coming.
At one point, prior to the arrival of the Swiffer items, Lee, a retired school teacher, attempts to climb a stepladder to dust items at the top of an armoire. Morty is right there, warning her to, “Be careful, Babe.” When it looks like she is having trouble stepping up, he walks over and helps her so she won’t fall. In another scene, after Morty sees how easy mopping with the Swiffer mop is compared to what Lee had to go through with an old fashioned mop and bucket, Morty, a retired pharmacist, says, “It’s just like dancing,” whereupon the two begin waltzing in their kitchen as Lee hums a tune.
The couple was chosen after a conversation between their daughter and a casting director who mentioned he was looking for an elderly couple for a new commercial. Huffington Post reports that the commercial series was shot in the Kaufmans’ home over a two day period. Even more interesting, there was no script. Everything they said, every cute little thing, just flowed from them. Even when it seems that they were able to finish each other’s sentences or said the same thing at the exact same thing.
Morty chalks up their newfound fame to the fact that you don’t see people their age in commercials these days.
That’s probably part of it, but I don’t think that’s the bulk of it. I think it’s more about seeing people of their age that are in such relatively good health and certainly still mentally sharp. Those of us of a certain age tend to fear the future because of what diseases it might bring. This couple seems to still be having fun at 90. It’s nice to see that.
And then there’s the love itself. In the video above, Lee sings, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to Morty, who then says, “Me, too” as they kiss.
“It’s nice to sing to you like that,” she says.
“It’s nice to be sung to,” he answers.
Who doesn’t hope that by the time we reach our nineties, we’ll have had someone beside us that we can still share that love with?