The name’s Bond, Arthur Bond

The new James Bond movie Die Another Day will be a great advertising vehicle for some of the world’s leading brands. Simon Goodley reports.

The name’s Bond, James Bond, and he’s licensed to sell. The legendary secret agent returns to the silver screen next month in his latest adventure, Die Another Day. But this time he acts more like Arthur Daley than a super-smooth spy.

The 20th instalment in the Bond franchise, which premieres in London on November 18, is arguably the most blatant advertising vehicle of the series.

Some of the world’s best-known brands have signed deals to appear in the film, a practice that is developing into an industry in its own right. It hasn’t quite reached the stage where Bond reports to his chocolate-munching superior M&M but the world’s most famous secret agent will be filmed wearing an Omega watch, Brioni suits and drinking Finlandia vodka.

Under these deals, film makers agree to use a company’s product in return for fees or a brand committing to promote the film.

David Wilson, a vice-president at Eon Productions, which produces the Bond series, said: “Nobody pays to have their product in the film. Eon wants product and technical assistance.” But under interrogation he admitted that “a couple of partners paid product placement fees” but refused to reveal names or the figures involved. The brands also view the deals as top secret.

Jeff Greenfield, a vice-president at US product placement agency 1st Approach Media, said: “We are talking in the millions of dollars. There is also an increasing trend for independent film makers to raise funds from product placement.”

Product placement is now a regular part of making big budget films as it helps reduce the financial risk. Die Another Day cost an estimated $65 million ($A182 million) to make.

Eon claimed it does not know how many products have been placed in Die Another Day, although industry watchers estimated that about 25 brands would have signed deals.

BMW provided Bond’s car in the previous three films but has taken the ejector seat this time. The film makers decided they wanted 007 back in an Aston Martin for the franchise’s 40th anniversary. Ford also supplied Jaguars.

Originally appearing in The Age