The McLaren Group has announced a new branch of its company, McLaren Animation. The new venture is aimed at bringing a more accessible front to McLaren as well as stimulating increased brand loyalty; as is apparent in the company’s first production – ‘Tooned’.
McLaren Animation has set up an alliance with Oscar-winning animation studio Framestore – whose recent projects have included the film War Horse and the BBC’s Euro 2012 title sequence – to create ‘Tooned’, a new show featuring the voices of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as themselves as well as Alexander Armstrong, who will voice Professor M.
The CGI animated series, which was shown for the first time during Sky’s F1 coverage of the British Grand Prix, is a very good example of McLaren Group Executive Chairman Ron Dennis’ visionary thinking and the ever-expanding nature of the McLaren Group.
“It’s an exciting and creative concept that addresses the insights gleaned from our research in a very innovative way,” said Dennis. “I’m confident that the opportunities it presents will be extensive. Creating a more demographically accessible ‘face’ for McLaren will help our brand appeal to a wider audience whilst also fostering increased brand loyalty.”
The three-minute long episodes will be shown before each race, with the drivers testing the patience of Professor M as he tries to create a World Championship-winning Formula 1 car. And although the series is scripted and directed throughout, the characters have been told to improvise as much as they can in order to bring fans closer to the real personalities of the two British stars.
“‘Tooned’, offers a unique platform for McLaren and its partners to achieve exposure to a wider audience, as well as to integrate brand messaging in a format of a high-octane sport not known for an ability to laugh at itself,” said John Allert, Group Brand Director of McLaren Marketing. “Appealing to kids and parents alike.”