November 18, 2006
James Bond: Licensed to Brand
I have been thrilled with the excellent press the new Bond movie, Casino Royale, is getting and also fascinated by the way this installment has handled product placement, going for quality, fidelity and exposure over sheer quantity of brand names.
An article from Forbes, "James Bond: Licensed to Sell," spells it out very nicely: brand placement allows studios to make bigger, brasher films, reach target spaces they normally cannot reach (supermarket shelves, computer stores) and is a DVR-proof way of "getting the message across and associating their name with an established franchise."
This is true in general of the $3.07 bil spent yearly on entertainment product placement but even more so in the case of Bond films. I agree with Jo Swift on Radical left who just published an excellent post entitled "My Name is Bond, James Bond, Brand Man" in which he reminds us that in the original novels of Ian Fleming he was just as brand conscious as his latest on-screen incarnation.
Part of Bond's appeal is that he is into some very cool brands, some we know (Smirnoff, Bollinger) and some we do not know but wish we did (Pinaud Elixir, Taittinger Blanc de Blancs Brut, Norwegian Honey from Fortum’s, coffee from De Bry of Oxford Street) and some brand names we know only through him (Walther PPK, Smirnoff martinis — shaken, not stirred).
Laura Blum at AdFreak points out that Bollinger has experienced a surge in sales every time a Bond movie has come out over the last 27 years, and this year some newer Bond brands are hoping to feel a little giddy, too. Not least will be Sony Ericssson — SMS Text News says the move is "ALLLLLL about the K800." Sony's phones have been nicely blended into the movie, and used by both Bond himself and his new love interest, who gets a unique M600i.
Ford will also be popping some bubby this year, as their Aston Martin brand name is getting some serious play — they even went so far as to invite some bloggers and journalists for a James Bond day recently. For the truly curious, there is a wonderful post up about James Bond’s beer (this year its Heineken) on Brookston Beer Bulletin that fills you in on every drop the agent ever drank and some he didn't, including an ill fated "James Bond’s 007 Special Blend" malt liquor that is now long gone but featured pictures of the famous Bond girls on each can.
And despite some grumblings from people in our own industry I must agree with The Grundle: James Bond is “a myth, a legend, a conglomerate of everything that's cool about guys." And what do guys like? That’s easy, 007: girls, good booze, guns, fast cars and top end brands.
Well done, James old boy.
TrackBack URL for this entry: