Even if you’ve been living in a cave for the last 6 months you’ll know the 23rd instalment in the James Bond franchise will be hitting the big screen this week. Hardly surprising since its Britain’s, and possibly the world’s, best loved secret agent 007. But also due to the heavy marketing such an illustrious brand carries. Yes, James Bond is a brand. And every other major brand wants their product to be associated with the man. Personally, I love the James Bond franchise and with Skyfall coming out all the ads and media coverage just add to the excitement but others might not feel the same.
With his Tom Ford-tailored suits, Omega watch and his glorified Sony Vaio gadgets he’s almost constantly and blatantly selling these brands to the fans. These examples can be forgiven but the die hard fans might feel hard done by and could argue that Bond’s character has been compromised by the effects of such marketing techniques. In Casino Royale (2006), theres a scene where Bond is driving the latest Ford Mondeo. It feels almost like watching a typical car ad, bang in the middle of the film. Soon after, Bond wins the familiar Aston Martin DB5 in a poker match as a clear nod to the classic 007 style but also feels like they’re making it up to the fans that he just drove a Ford.
This year, we’ve seen a James Bond themed Heineken ad with Daniel Craig even being roped in for good measure. Furthermore, Bond is seen swigging a green bottle, rather than his usual Vodka Martini in an early scene of Skyfall. It seems though that such compromises have to be made after budget cuts at MGM have forced the producers to look elsewhere for funds. Heineken, for example, shelled out £28m for the privilege of being Bond’s lager of choice, covering almost a third of the estimated £93.7m budget. Daniel Craig described their reliance on brand associations as “unfortunate” but admitted “This movie costs a lot of money to make and nearly as much again to promote, so we go where we can.”
In attempt to reclaim Bond as the British icon that he is, Danny Boyle featured him in the Olympic Opening ceremony where he appears to parachute into the Olympic stadium with none other than the Queen! Definitely my most memorable moment of the ceremony and a reminded to the world where Bond belongs. VisitBritain have also taken advantage of Bond’s status featuring him in their ads to encourage people to visit Britain and “live like Bond”.
The film itself may have a significant effect on tourism with climatic scenes believed to be set in the Scottish Highlands and London but this is mainly down to the below par budget which is lower than the prequel, Quantum of Solace. Casino Royale remains the highest grossing Bond film so far with Quantum of Solace falling just short of its phenomenal success. However, Quantum of Solace significantly surpassed Casino Royale in China. As a result, the savvy producers of Skyfall have thrown in a Shanghai setting for part of the movie in an attempt to boost the success of what is already to predicted to be the most successful Bond film of all time.