October 19th, 2008
Brands Cozy Up to Sixth Bond
By Theresa Howard
Daniel Craig, the sixth and latest James Bond, didn’t just bring in new fans with his debut two years ago. He also has lured new marketers to the movie franchise well-known for product placement and tie-ins.
Eon, which owns Bond rights, and Sony, which took over distribution in buying MGM, hoped Craig could broaden Bond’s appeal across generations, gender and geography. He did: Worldwide box office for Casino Royale was $594.2 million, the most of the 21 Bond films.
That has attracted marketers of younger, hipper products to the latest film in the 46-year-old franchise, Quantum of Solace, which opens Oct. 31 in London and Nov. 14 in the U.S. Among them: Coca-Cola with its first Bond promotion, for Coke Zero.
“What we are finding now is that he not only crosses demographics, men and women, young and old, he has helped extend and broaden Bond so that it’s become a culture event,” says Georg Leon, Sony’s executive vice president, consumer marketing.
Also new this time out, he says, is that the tie-ins, messages and licensed products are being tailored much more for specific markets than they have before.
“Marketers have become really smart about over-saturation,” Leon says. “It really is about picking the right partner and letting them have their own unique message and voice.”
Coke will make its biggest push in the U.K. with ads and limited-edition, black Quantum of Solace bottles to be sold at Harrods department store in London. In the U.S., Coke will begin to air this month an animated commercial in cinemas and on TV.
“We’re in more than 100 markets,” says Derk Hendriksen of the zero-calorie soft drink with sales up 35% this year. “We thought the tie-in would be very appropriate for two irreverent and global personalities (Coke Zero and Bond).”
The cosmetics and fragrance maker, in its first Bond affiliation, will sell Bond Girl 007 Fragrance for $30. Gemma Arterton, who plays Agent Fields, a sexy, young, fellow Brit, will appear in print and TV ads in North America, Europe and Latin America.
The film is a “great platform to develop a beautiful fragrance and connect with women worldwide,” says Tracy Haffner, global vice president, marketing.
Continuing long Ford ties with Bond films, Ford of Europe’s redesigned Ka mini-car, being launched now, is driven by Ukrainian actress and new Bond love interest Olga Kurylenko. The automaker and the film’s designers created a metallic gold model, and Ford of Europe will launch the special-edition Solace Ka for sale around the movie’s release. The design of Kurylenko’s ride was aimed specifically to reach women in the audience. Other Ford brands are expected to show up in the film, and Bond again will drive former Ford brand Aston Martin.
After a limited tie-in with Casino Royale, the corporate sibling of the Sony film studio is stepping up its Bond ties for Quantum of Solace. Craig will appear in TV, print and digital ads to promote Sony’s Bravia flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and Vaio computers. Also available will be a limited-edition 007 Vaio that includes a Bond-like brief case.
The “007 Villain Collection” has 22 watches based on the chief bad guys in each of the movies. Priced at $60 to $245, the faces incorporate villain features such as “danger level” for the Dr. No watch or a skull face for voodoo character Baron Samedi in Live & Let Die.
Hoping Bond’s appeal can be extended to kids, toy licensee PopCo will have Bond collectible die-cast cars, action figures and toys, such as the Crypto Decoder, with a suggested retail price of $19.99, and GPS Hideout Tracker, sold at mainstream outlets including Toys R Us. “We haven’t had a lot of mass market toy business,” says Keith Snelgrove, vice president, global business strategy for Danjaq, Eon’s licensing group. “Most people think of us as an adult concept.”