Celebrity endorsements of brands are nothing new, but it's a little rarer for the celebrity in question to be a cartoon character. That's exactly what Jaguar Land Rover has done for its latest social campaign, though, naming Noodle – one of the members of Gorillaz, the cartoon band founded by Blur's Damon Albarn and comics artist Jamie Hewlett – as its new global ambassador.
The announcement ties in with Jaguar's return to motorsport with its I-type Formula E car, and partnering with the Gorillaz is intended to help the brand reach a younger audience about the opportunities for them in developing the next generation of electric vehicle technology.
"By 2022 we’re facing a shortfall of 300,000 skilled engineers in the UK alone. It is our responsibility to change this future by inspiring young people," said Fiona Pargeter, head of global PR communications at Jaguar Land Rover. "Yes we want to be successful on track, but Formula E can be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to inspire the future generations of engineers. A global platform to inspire and attract young children to a career in innovation and engineering – through Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s partnership with Noodle we hope to inspire millions of young people to help invent the future."
The campaign will roll out with posts across Jaguar's Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat channels, as well as an account for Noodle herself, set up last week. That coincided with 'The Book of Noodle', a set of tweets on the Gorillaz account explaining the return of the character, who was essentially written out of the band and replaced with a robot duplicate in the videos accompanying the last Gorillaz album.
Picking Gorillaz's one female member isn't coincidental. The first promotional post on Noodle's Instagram featured Jaguar racing engineer Charanya Ravi, and the campaign seems to be trying to tap into the wider push to get more young women involved in STEM subjects.