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Hasta la vista Mr. Clean!


Are Mr. Clean’s days numbered?

A Minnesota company called Activeion Cleaning Solutions is betting the house on it. They say you can kill germs on toilets, floors – even toothbrushes – using only tap water and the company’s “ionator”, a $169 plastic spray bottle.

The ionator sends an electric charge to the water, killing germs and even the H1N1 virus, the company claims.

Mommy, where's Mr. Clean?

One of the handfull of start-ups receiving Venture Capital backing in the first quarter of the year the ionator was recogninzed by Forbes magazine’s “best breakout business ideas” of 2009 and an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

Is the ionator too good to be true? Some microbiologists think so. As a result Activeion has had lab tests performed  that meet EPA lab protocol. Tests show the product is able to kill bacteria and the H1N1 virus on surfaces. “It’s not a miracle cleaner”, says Activeion CEO Jim Wiese, “but it cleans as well as the general purpose cleaner that is being used today.

Here’s a telling endorsement…managing partner at SAIL Venture Partners, Costa Mesa, CA, David Jones said, “Frankly, we would like to have more invested if we could.”

The Man

Time will tell if consumers will spend $169 for a spray bottle and turn their backs on Mr. Clean. He’s been “the Man” for P&G since he made his first TV appearance in 1958. Mr. Clean is a P&G icon.

If I were marketing for Activeion I’d be looking to come up with a mascot that has both the immediate connotation of clean and powerful.

Terminator's Eye

I’m not convinced the Terminator’s Eye is really a good icon for the Ionator…but the creative process must begin somewhere.

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