Image sourceOver the years, the creators of the James Bond movies have succeeded in portraying and marketing the James Bond character and brand in a very consistent way. According to Andrew Lycett, biographer of Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator would have approved of product placement in the films because he littered his books with brand names. The first brand to appear was inFrom Russia With Love, where his housekeeper May hands him a tray of breakfast and The Times, “the only paper Bond ever read.” And when he visits London, we are told that his breakfast is “always the same”: toast with Norwegian heather honey from Fortnum‘s and coffee from De Bry in New Oxford Street. Note that everything always sounds like it’s a luxury item! The fact is that, for the novels’ machines, Bond tells us the exact make and specifications of every meal he eats, plane he boards or car he drives. “Ian Fleming was quite a brand person,” Lycett noted. “He was writing at a time when Britain was coming out of the war years and people wanted things to aspire to. Bond was eclectic in his drinking, as Fleming was. There are champagnes he refers to, such as Taittinger.” This has trickled into the James Bond movie adaptions, the love of brands undoubtedly passed on from Flemming to the Broccoli family – the current owners of the Bond films. It’s now come to the point where many other brands want to be seen in connection with the series in order to profit from its strength. According to BV4, in Skyfall alone, $45m was generated thanks to product placement.
Image source The fact that the novels were rife with different products lends itself well to the changing brands on screen. If there’s one thing we learn from Flemming, it’s that Bond is no brand loyalist. Take his taste in drinks, for example. Although many may only recall Bond drinking Martinis, “shaken, not stirred”, through the course of series Bond establishes that he has a penchant for Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Pol Roger, Veuve Clicquot, Tattinger and… Heineken? Read more about James Bond related article:
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Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain, said: “007 has orchestrated many critical missions for Queen and country – including escorting Her Majesty to the fantastic Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games – so it is only right that we call upon his services now to encourage more people to holiday in Britain. That is a worthy challenge and one that we feel is well on track following an outstanding 2012 that has thrust Britain into the limelight like never before.” These brands, much like Aston Martin, Omega and Belvedere vodka, won’t be the last ones to take advantage of the James Bond image, especially when it comes to selling British products overseas. As Belvedere CEO Charles Gibb said: “There is no better way to talk to a global audience than through a global man of distinction, an icon.” By Shané Schutte
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