I’ve been a fan of the James Bond franchise ever since being a little girl and was raised on re-runs of Connery and Moore depicting the role of the iconic British spy. So when the new Spectre trailer dropped, I was more than excited to see what’s in store for Bond 24.
Product placement onscreen is commonplace nowadays, with brands fighting to get their products and services into the big blockbusters, and paying the big bucks for the privilege – 2008’s Quantum of Solace earned over $100 million in product placements alone.
Brands have been not-so-subtly influencing Bond’s choice of the latest fashion, cars and tech for decades. Here, we take a look at some of Bond’s biggest brands and the role they play in the films.
Like every self-respecting 21st century man of mystery, the humble mobile phone is a key part of Bond’s arsenal (think back to the car-driving Sony Ericsson JB988 in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies). Unlike the rest of the world Bond hasn’t hopped on the Apple juggernaut, favouring Sony as his go-to tech to save the world from bad guys with European accents.
As Sony Pictures is the co-financer and distributor of the series, the partnership surely carried some contractual weight (no doubt Q could offer tech support for Windows 8) but there’s definitely cool points added having James Bond himself using your latest piece of tech.
Impeccable tailoring is as much a part of 007 as a martini or Aston Martin. Usually donned when the villain makes his move, Bond’s suits have varied in colour from the iconic grey suit worn in 1964’s Goldfinger, to the modern day blues and blacks seen in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. A three-piece suit is usually Bond’s choice apparel (20 of the 23 films feature a three-piece suit). Tom Ford, the epitome of British luxury, most recently kitted Daniel Craig out in his Sunday best for his role in Skyfall.
“Rolex?”, asks Vespa in Casino Royale.
“Omega”, purrs Bond.
Since 1995’s Goldeneye, the Omega watch has taken pride of place on the wrist of MI6’s finest. For two decades, Omega has been partnered to provide the glamorous and high-tech watches that Bond sports. Like Sony’s mobile phones, Omega’s partnership with the series has transcended the screen into the shops, and 00-hopefuls can don their own spy-standard wrist-wear from Omega’s line of Bond watches.
Belvedere Vodka has been announced as a new partner for Spectre, becoming Bond’s new tipple of choice. With the stylish drink set to top up Bond’s beloved vodka martini (shaken, not stirred!), limited edition 007 bottles will be available to buy featuring LED lighting (I must get my paws on one of these!). It probably won’t take an eagle eye to spot a bottle of Belvedere when the film’s released in November.
Not even James Bond can resist the allure of a tall frosty on the beach. His beer of choice: Heineken. $45 million later and Heineken managed to prize the martini glass out of Bond’s hand in Skyfall back in 2012. To support their new social drinker was an advertising campaign featuring some of the famous characters from over the years including Dr No from the title film and Goldeneye’s Valentin Zukovsky.
Celebrating its 50th year in Bond films this year, the iconic Aston Martin is making a comeback with an evolution of the original Goldfinger classic DB5, the DB10. An incredibly stylish and sleek model, this particular car was developed specially for the new film, with a courteous, self-referential nod to what’s gone before. While the Aston Martin isn’t the only car brand to share screen time with 007, this luxury British car-maker has cemented its place in Bond lore.
Not to be overshadowed by its partners, ‘brand Bond’ is its own success story. Since the men’s fragrance launched to mark Bond’s 50th anniversary, the 007 fragrance recently reached out to its female audience with the creation of ‘007 for women’, described as embodying the ‘dangerously seductive nature of the Bond Woman’. From limited editions sold exclusively in Harrods to High Street-stocked gift sets, the fragrance sold out on early runs as those of us without £4000 lying around for an Omega watch sought get a piece of Bond.
So, what’s next for brand Bond? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s easy to see that any brand looking to associate itself with a sexy and stylish icon should look no further than Bond.
– Francesca Ward, Social Media Account Manager