Sony Music Australia has asked a Sydney-based creative agency to design animated characters for a virtual kids music act, which will appear in partnership with the McDonalds fast food chain.

The virtual band, Wootonia, released its first album in April 2010 through a trans-Australian launch with partner McDonalds as a Happy Meal collectors’ item, with its characters coming from creative agency sixty40.

The album, featuring tunes and music clips, is the first in a series of four which can be collected over four weeks with every happy meal sold.

Sony has indicated that the concept has been released in the same tradition as popular animated bands of the ’60s and ’70s such as The Archies (who had a number one US Billboard hit with ‘Sugar Sugar’) and Josie and the Pussycats.

The first single and video clip ‘Bounce’ has premiered on MTV channel Nickelodeon.

“The characters needed to represent the four genres of music – pop, rock, emo and hip hop. There was some openness around the type of characters and story but there were strict parameters… to meet our business objectives,” said Mark Flynn, general manager, promotions, publicity and business enterprises, Sony Music Australia.