Sony Casts Belvedere Vodka for James Bond Spectre Product Placement


Details about the new Bond film Spectre continue to leak out. But we’re not talking about the plot, but the product placement.

Before the Sony data leakbrought red faces to Sony Pictures execs, 007’s film producers announced the film’s car: a teardrop knife-blade DB10 from Aston Martin which was revealed at the new film’s naming press event.

Now comes news of Bond’s preferred booze brand in Spectre. And no, it’s not Heineken. And yes, it will be shaken, not stirred.

Spinning it as a return to the his iconic martini, Belvedere vodka today announced a multi-million dollar deal to become the next tipple of 007, including a tongue-in-cheek video stating “Excellent choice, Mr. Bond.”

“James Bond is recognized as the most admired and influential tastemaker in the world. We’re delighted that Belvedere will be partnering with SPECTRE, our largest global partnership to date,”  stated Charles Gibb, president of Belvedere Vodka, in a press release.

Dwight Caines, President of Theatrical Marketing for Sony Pictures, added that “James Bond’s cool attitude and stylish sophistication have always gone hand-in-hand with his choice of vodka martini. Belvedere is a perfect match.”

The Polish vodka brand also revealed limited edition bottles featuring both Bond’s MI6 headquarters and another with a “007” logo and LED lighting.

Belvedere vodka Bond 007 Spectre

Belvedere vodka Bond 007 Spectre

Of course, Bond has been a brand-name dropper since the beginning.

In Dr. No, which featured the first appearance of the SPECTRE organization, Bond mentioned his fondness of Dom Perignon, specifically a bottle of the “’53.” It was also the first appearance of the iconic Bond firearm, the Walther, which we’re on record saying is the most important Bond product placement of all time.

Bond’s last go-round in Skyfall featured loads of brand partnerships. Some were big. Some were not. But all of them got press. So it’s no surprise that brands are getting the word out nearly a year before the film hits screens.

“The Bond franchise is truly unique in the world of product placement,” said John Barnard, Chairman of NMG Product Placement, which is based at London’s Pinewood Studios, the home of James Bond. (NMG is involved in Spectre but cannot comment on details.)

“Bond offers global reach: a tried and tested creative style, core ‘brand’ values, and, after all these years, generates awesome media hype which brands can harness,” Barnard added.

As we’ve noted before, Heineken’s deal with Bond keeps looking worse and worse. For the Belevdere announcement, Sony called the Belvedere partnership “a perfect match.” That raises a logical question about what Sony thinks Heineken is to Bond. A convenient match?

But the recent Sony hack and Bond script leak already gave away a boozy casting twist.

Amidst the leaked Sony emails came evidence of executives complaining of the massive Spectre cost overruns pointed to Heineken’s product placement money as one of the few bright spots reducing the budget. After Skyfall came out in 2012, we noted how the film stiffed its paying partner and instead piled copious promotion on Macallan whiskey, a brand that didn’t even pay a penny.

It seems Heineken might be getting set up again. That same Sony leak also included several Spectre script documents. Numerous scenes mention the Aston Martin DB10, including one in which Bond swipes the Aston from Q and replaces it with “A Bottle of Bollinger.”

Bond and Bollinger have a long history, stretching from 1971’s Live and Let Die to 1985’s A View to a Kill to 2002’s Die Another Day to 2006’s Casino Royale. Bollinger has even released special James Bond Editions.

Or you can just watch a super-cut of years of Bond’s Bollinger product placements below:

Finally, for brands looking to get in on the 24th Bond film, Barnard suggests they shoot for #25, saying, “NMG still gets brands asking us ‘if we can get them in James Bond.’ They do not appreciate that such campaigns require months, if not years, of planning; significant spend; and brands who can reap the benefits with 360-degree creative ingenuity.”

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