Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Have McLaren's marketing department lost their way? - Repetition in the PR and sponsorship activities

Published by Mr. C

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes logo

Prior to the Turkish Grand Prix the McLaren team managed to humiliate their number one driver by having him dangle from the rafters while a folkdance troupe performed below. Now say what you like about that particular fiasco, but at least it was original.

Unlike say, the idea of encrusting a racing drivers helmet with some expensive diamonds, just in time for the Monaco Grand Prix, which, for some reason has something of a familiar ring to it.

Diamonds are forever

Oh yeah, they're pulling that old trick again. You know, two drivers, two helmets, one Monaco, add some shiny rocks... that's bound to create some headlines. McLaren did the same thing last year when Alonso was driving, and that's after they'd already pulled the same stunt back in 2005 with Kimi and Montoya.

At least when Jaguar had a deal with Steinmetz they put diamonds on the nose of the cars. Admittedly the big cat did lose one of them, but at least that was something worth talking about. This year Lewis has to stand up in front of the cameras and again wax lyrical about his "bling" in a way that makes him sound like a second rate rap star, and again we'll have to sit through it all during the pre-race television coverage.

The thing is you can't really blame Lewis for any of this, he is after all just doing what he's told. The real problem is the PR department, they're not giving him anything to work with.

Life's a beach

Just look back to the first race of the season. Guess what, two racing drivers are taking part in a Beach Kayak Challenge, where have I heard that before? Yup, same as last year, same team, same idea.

Vodafone should take some of the blame for this, the Troy disaster was their idea, and so was the kayaking, but the Steinmetz deal is all McLaren, and frankly the people in charge of promoting this team are fresh out of ideas.

Someone call the stormtroopers.

I'm sure we could come up with something better for Hamilton to be doing while he's in Monaco. How about seeing how fast he can throw a Mercedes S-Class Hybrid around the track, or maybe watch him trying and beat the unofficial cycling record.

If you have any better ideas, let us know in the comments.