Through the seven kazillion James Bond books and movies, the guy has tipped back a few boatloads of alcohol. It’s a small wonder he can find the dexterity to operate his tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder or dodge the dagger shoes worn by SPECTRE agents. Along the way, he’s been labeled a vodka martini man – "shaken, not stirred," of course — even though Champagne is the most frequent tipple he’s served.
In the soon-to-be-released Skyfall, though, Bond will reach for a Heineken since the Dutch brewer has forked over a reported $45 million to have its brand incorporated in the film. The product placement announcement earlier this year got a few fans' knickers in a twist, including one who played 007 in days gone by.
George Lazenby, who starred as the secret agent in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was disappointed to see that the Bond filmmakers “go where the money is” and that Bond wasn’t drinking some other brew, since Heineken isn’t “the best beer out there,” he reportedly commented.
Of course, every big film, including Bond, has had to turn to big brands to make extra cash. Besides Heineken, Bond is once again back in the sack with Coca-Cola's Coke Zero brand. And Bond purists tend to get worked up, history shows — including those who got exercised when BMW’s money drove Bond’s favorite car in Ian Fleming’s books, the Aston-Martin, into the mechanic’s shed and onto the auction block. But without the money, kids, the movies wouldn’t get made.
Daniel Craig, the current 007, commented that "We have relationships with a number of companies so that we can make this movie. The simple fact is that, without them, we couldn’t do it. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is. This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs as nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can."
That’s not stopping Bond fans from taking to Facebook to form protest groups as "Boycott Heineken because they make James Bond drink their piss" and "Boo James Bond Heineken scene."
Whatever side of the argument you (Sky)fall on, you’ll likely be hearing about it plenty more before the film hits the big screen in the UK on Oct. 26 and in the U.S. on Nov. 9. In the meantime, Heineken’s teaser campaign will likely incite some online fan grumpiness, even though it features the comely new Bond Girl, and even though the iconic film franchise is celebrating 50 years since the first Bond film, Dr. No, this year.
As Heineken's Facebook teaser campaign by W+K Amsterdam (billed as "Help Severine save the world") that launched Friday hints, a global commercial that breaks this week will feature Craig and new Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe on an epic train journey that will invite viewers to help “crack the case.”
“The creativity and progressiveness of the Heineken brand combined with the legendary James Bond franchise will provide viewers with high entertainment values,” stated Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken. Along with a whole lot to quibble about over drinks.