Vodafone McLaren Short Film Tribute To Team Founder

As Vodafone McLaren reveals its new MP4-28 car and pre-season F1 testing begins, the mobile-backed team launches an emotional and personal short film about founder Bruce McLaren as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.


The online movie ‘Courage’ is the first of three short films, created by VCCP, to celebrate the birth of the brand. Indeed, this dramatic piece of real story-telling aims to show the brand and its values in a way never seen before.


With sensitive, touching direction from Swedish music-video maker Marcus Söderlund, the first webfilm in the trilogy focuses on the ghost of Bruce McLaren retracing the scene of the 1970 Goodwood crash that killed him with a monologue outlining his beliefs and philosophies that still underpin today’s team.



The dreamlike story of the New Zealander’s life (from becoming the youngest F1 race winner at the age of 22, through to his approach to design) and death at the age of just 32 is a powerful human back-story to the Vodafone McLaren brand. It was exclusively previewed at the MP4-28 car reveal and is now running online across both the team and the sponsor’s websites and social media platforms.



It ends with the lines:


‘What might be seen as a tragic end was in fact a beginning. As I always said, to do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. Indeed, life is not measured in years alone but in achievement.’


Two further short films are due to be released later this year.


Ron Dennis CBE, executive chairman, McLaren Group added: ‘McLaren’s history is long and storied, but McLaren’s legacy is harder to define – and that’s because it’s still being vividly written every day by the dedicated men and women who work at the McLaren Technology Centre. Bruce McLaren wrote the beginning of the story, and the legend is going to continue for many years to come.’


To commemorate the occasion and celebrate the McLaren Group’s 50th anniversary the team’s marketers have also created a new free wallpaper, which looks back at half a century of proud heritage. This is available for download via the brand’s website.


On the brand’s digital hub there is also a ‘50 Greatest McLaren Drivers’ element – as chosen by motorsport journalist Alan Henry (excluding 2012 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button).


There will be further 50th anniversary events too – some in tandem with the Bruce McLaren Trust. Including marking the year in Bruce McLaren’s home country such as the planned celebration at July’s 2013 CRC Speedshow in Auckland, New Zealand




This is a fine example of a film that can actually change the way a consumer looks at the world, at racing and at the McLaren brand.


Just how much of this public re-assessment will rub off on Vodafone remains to be seen. Although now seen by many as a global corporate behemoth, the mobile brand also has its own inspirational and pioneering founder story to tell.


Vodafone is title sponsor and official mobile partner of the team – an alliance which is the mobile giant’s major global sponsorship. This deal gives Vodafone dominant title sponsorship branding on the new cars, drivers’ and pit crews’ overalls and helmets in what is largely an awareness led partnership.


Indeed, for many sponsors F1 is often seen as a sport’s platform that delivers massive global television coverage coupled with upscale elite hospitality and promotional opportunities. In the past these two factors alone have largely dominated sponsor activation.


Perhaps this kind of emotional story-telling approach from the brand might lead to even more activation emphasis on compelling emotional content.


Indeed, we wish more F1 work, whether it is brand work or sponsor activation (or both) was like this – emotionally compelling and powerful personal story telling.


Perhaps we will begin to see more innovative and engaged activation in the sport now that some new brands with impressive creative track records have joined the sport as sponsors in the 2013 season.


These include BlackBerry, which recently signed a $12m sponsorship deal with F1 team Mercedes (which now boasts former McLaren stare driver Lewis Hamilton alongside Nico Rosberg – both of whom will wear the phone’s branding in addition to its on-car presence). As well as Coca-Cola energy drink brand Burn which is backing the Lotus F1 team this year.




Vodafone McLaren Website



Vodafone McLaren 50 Courage Film YouTube



Vodafone McLaren Facebook



Vodafone Racing Facebook



Vodafone Sponsoship Website



Vodafone Website




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