50 years on, brands that featured in James Bond films

05 Oct,2012

By Yusuf Begg


Like Tintin, Asterix or Sherlock Holmes, James Bond is a global cultural icon. And it is also one of the most successful film franchises in the world: $4 bn in revenues. Between 25% and 50% of the world’s population has seen at least one Bond film in their lifetime. Producers have reportedly earned $45 mn from product placements in Skyfall — a third of the production budget.


On the Fast Lane:  Chases on treacherous mountain roads, cars that turn into submarines at a flick of a switch, those that fire missiles and torpedoes, ejector seats…if there is anything sexier than Bond girls, it has to be the super spy’s cars.


Since Goldfinger (1964) Aston Martins have been 007’s favourite set of wheels. However, BMW staged a coup of sorts, signed a cheque for $20 mn and its Z3 roadster was launched in GoldenEye (1995).


However, Aston Martin made a comeback in Die Another Day (2002).


Pretty Women: Though James Bond may be the alpha male and his films the ultimate male dream, cosmetic brands have not shied away from placing brands there.

Be it L’Oreal, Revlon or as in Skyfall, Swarovski. Revlon had a marketing campaign linked to Die Another Day (2002).

Avon created a Bond Girl 007 line of women’s fragrance around the time of release of Quantum of Solace (2008).

In the latest, Bond girl Berenice Marlohe wears specially designed Swarovski jewellery.


Stoppage Time: Of course James Bond’s watches don’t just show the time of the day. There are other uses also — such as a “magnetic” one used to unzip a Bond girl’s dress, a watch that has retractable wire used to strangulate, a laser diode that can cut through steel, a dart gun, Geiger counter….

From an Omega Seamaster to a Rolex Submariner to digital Seikos and Breitlings, Bond has worn some of the most famous watch brands.


The Spy with the Golden Guns: More than anything 007 is street smart and depends upon his ingenuity to get out of sticky situations. But occasionally guns come in handy.

One Geoffrey Boothroyd sent Ian Fleming a stinker: “I like everything about your James Bond character except his deplorable taste in weapons, a .25 caliber Beretta is utterly useless as well as being a lady’s gun…and not a very nice lady at that.”

And thus the super spy had to ditch his favourite Beretta for a Walther PPK.


Gizmo Guru: Skyfall will see the suave spy flaunting a Sony Xperia T. But this won’t be the first time Bond will be branding a phone. Sony Ericsson was prominently featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, where the device was used by the spy to drive his car from the backseat. The brand also makes an appearance in subsequent Bond films.


Dressed to Kill: From V-necks on golf courses (Goldfinger) to turtlenecks (Die Another Day), James Bond has always been a man of singular taste.

But it’s Bond in sharp suits that people remember (female viewers would prefer Daniel Craig in La Perla trunks, of course).

For many years now Bond has been wearing bespoke suits from Brioni. However, in his latest, his designer is Tom Ford.

And then there are the Turnbull & Asser shirts and ties, Church Philip shoes and Sunspel polos.


Barcode: Many hardcore Bond fans will be shaken when in Skyfall, the spy will not utter the famous “Shaken, not stirred” while ordering his drink. For he’s moved from martinis to beer.

From the days of Dr No (1962) it has been Smirnoff (and Finlandia in Die Another Day). However, in Bond’s new film he walks up to the bar and orders a Heineken.

Then there are the champagnes — Dom Perignon and Taittinger among others, a red wine — Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1947 vintage (in Diamonds are Forever, 1971).


Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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