Bondwagon: UK Brands Leverage Bond’s Skyfall

The James Bond franchise is a unique phenomenon: with 23 successful movies and counting, many marketers consider the series as being as close as one can get to aligning with a guaranteed hit film.


Thus, in addition to the usual extensive array of official brand partners (Coke Zero, Heineken, Omega, Sony and Tom Ford etc), the latest film Skyfall has spawned a raft of other campaigns from the direct (such as VisitBritain) to the indirect (KittyBingo).


The cat-stroking Blofeld-style 007 villain is an established Bond-spoof cliché, particularly since Mike Myers Austin Powers success and Kitty Bingo has the latest brand to take this tried-and-tested route to leveraging SkyFall’s release with a new UK TV campaign.



It’s not surprising marketers are keen to exploit Bond this year. After all, from the moment 007 and The Queen jumped out of a helicopter during the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, an alliance of forces seem to have been collaborating throughout 2012 to position the Bond film franchise as a great British institution.


This trend has played out on several front – from the appearance of some classic British brands (such as the return of the iconic Aston Martin) in Skyfall itself, through to VisitBritain’s ‘Bond Is Great’ tourism campaign.


Running across traditional print and outdoor platforms, as well as cinema, viral and digital channels, the tourism body is leveraging Bond’s British heritage to promote UK tourism to international audiences.



The cinema ad, features archive clips starring all six previous James Bond actors – Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig – spliced with stunning footage of British cities and countryside. The sot closes with a genuine scene from Skyfall which sees Craig gaze out over London’s skyline along with the ‘Bond is Great Britain’ strapline and VisitBritain’s ongoing ‘You’re invited’ call to action.


To support the campaign, VisitBritain has teamed up with British Airways, Radisson Blu Hotels, Aston Martin and Twentieth Century Fox to offer consumers the chance to ‘Live like Bond‘ in a series of promotions and competitions.


Executions also drive consumers online to the campaign’s dedicated ‘Agent UK’ website which encourages consumers, travellers and Bond fans to complete online missions around the UK.


The cinema spot is being screened in six target cities across four key UK tourism markets: S‹o Paolo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Los Angeles in the US; Berlin in Germany; and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. While he supporting print, outdoor and digital campaign is running in 21 countries




VisitBritain’s online tactic of driving people to a digital website where they can play Bond-style secret agent games and undertake spy-style missions in order to win prizes is one that has also been used by other Bond brand tie-ins such as Heineken and Sony.


While Sky has also taken the same editorial approach as VisitBritain by creating a TV promotional trailer featuring all the previous Bonds cut into a single car chase in order to promote its own dedicated Bond channel – Sky Movies 007 HD.



Of course, the Kitty Bingo campaign strategy follows in a long tradition of British brands leveraging Bond-mania with unofficial ‘homage-style’ campaigns.


Some of the more well known of these include the fairly recent (and award-winning) Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Bond title-sequence-style’ TV ad,



the ‘My name is Bond …Brooke Bond’ campaign for PG Tips



and Rowan Atkinson’s Barclaycard buffoon Bond mickey-takes.



Of course, Bond isn’t the first or only film to develop strong brand relationships and offer corporate product placement opportunities (indeed, this video highlights many of the best over the years),



but it is arguably the marketers safest movie bet and the product placement critic’s number one target.




VisitBritain TVC


VisitBritain Live Like Bond Website



VisitBritain Website:


Sky Movies 007 HD


KittyBingo TVC


KittyBingo Website


Product Placement YouTube Montage


Virgin Atlantic Bond Titles Style TVC


PG Tips Brooke Bond


Barclaycard Atkinson Bond Spoof

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