It’s no surprise that product placement is alive and well, with every subsequent Bond film presenting the perfect place to drop an ad in, and Spectre is no different.
But Spectre is trying a more restrained approach, after the unnatural $45 million Heineken promotion in Skyfall, with the Bond franchise cutting back on product placements in the latest Bond flick.
Daniel Craig recently turned down a cool $50 million from Samsung to carry one of their phones, and a $5 million offer from Sony was also knocked back, with both Craig and director Sam Mendes judging the phones too lacklustre to be carried by 007.
Brands continue to clamber over each other to feature in franchise films like Star Wars and James Bond, and while it’s not a cheap venture, is it worth the coin?
Advertisers seem to think so, because part of the reason the film is so financially successful is thanks to a large chunk of its $200 million production costs being covered by advertisers wanting their products in the film, including Coke, Sony, Heineken, BMW, and Omega watches.
Spectre, in comparison to previous Bond films, is far more subtle in its approach to product placement. Three brands are mentioned by name, two car manufacturers and a gunmaker, and only one is an official sponsor. Bond still drinks a Belvedere vodka martini, but doesn’t request it by brand. He also sips champagne, but the label is left hidden.
But just because the film is trying to be subtle, doesn’t mean advertisers are. British fashion brand, N.Peal, has made a deal for the upcoming Spectre to dress Bond in its $300-plus cashmere sweaters, a product which has since sold out given the advertising comes with the disclaimer “As seen in the Spectre poster”.
According to brandchannel, Pinewood Studios-based NMG Product Placement chairman John Barnard said it’s easy to get over-analytical about product placement in James Bond films.
“‘Bond Placement’ has its own set of rules, many of which would be a disaster in any other blockbuster—but time after time, it works for Bond and its product placement partners.”
“At the end of the day ‘Bond Placement’ provides a virtually guaranteed global media platform for brands. What other forms of global brand communication can deliver the audience, powerful influence across different cultures?”
Daniel Craig has also defended the practice of product placement, calling it a “fact of life”.
Recently he told The Daily Express, “A movie like this costs $118 million to make… And it costs another $200 million to sell it. So the $200 million has to come from somewhere.”
Product placement in a Bond film is about as inevitable as the complaints of product placement in a Bond film, but when you’re selling out stock and raking in cash before a film is even released, it goes to show it’s still a booming business for advertisers.