James Bond Franchise Brands Finally Celebrate “No Time To Die”

A day before “No Time to Die” started playing in American theaters on Friday, Bollinger, James Bond’s favorite champagne, hosted a pre-screening party at a chic South Street Seaport theater in New York City. VIPs in sequined dresses and tuxedos posed for photos on the red carpet, ate caviar and drank a limited edition dedicated 007 wine, both during the movie and for hours afterwards.

If the scene seemed familiar to some participants, it was because it was. “It’s very strange,” said Alexander Michas, president and chief operating officer of Vintus, the Bollinger importer in New York. “It’s kind of like ‘groundhog day.” After all, two years ago, before the original Spring 2020 release date of “No Time to Die,” Bollinger participated in a similar party. The James Bond signs, the guest list, even the attire were similar; some participants wore the same outfit on both sides.

For Bollinger, a small family Champagne house, the Bond bond is invaluable.

“It helps people understand what Bollinger stands for,” Michas said. “Why would James Bond drink Bollinger?” Because it is the best. Everything he does is the best.

“We see sales go up when a Bond movie comes out,” he added. Globally, Michas said, he had heard estimates of about a 20 percent increase in sales around a movie opening.

Bollinger has so much at stake with Bond that he’s going to throw as many overhaul parties as needed, said Alyssa Faden, who works for Vintus and plans the parties. “Bond is our big time to shine,” she said. “Even if the release is postponed again and again, we will be there to celebrate it.” (Although, notes Michas, the timing is a bit tricky. “So many more people drank champagne during the pandemic, we have a shortage,” he said.)

The James Bond franchise currently has dozens of partners, from various brands from Adidas to Land Rover through the Jamaica Tourist Board. Some brands, like Bollinger, were written in the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. Others are much more recent. Triumph Motorcycles, for example, became a partner of “No Time To Die” after the company formed a relationship with Bond stunt coordinator Lee Morrison.

Partner companies typically spend their own resources promoting Bond films with TV commercials, magazines, social media campaigns, storefronts, Bond related products, influencer events and more. The marketing value of the partner companies is over $ 100 million, said Stephen Bruno, chief marketing officer of MGM, which distributes the Bond films. But the value to these partner companies, both in terms of difficult sales and brand awareness generation, is so great that they will do anything, even market the same movie not once but twice.

“We call it the Bond Effect,” said Adam VanderVeen, Marketing Director for Triumph Motorcycles America.

Prior to the opening of “No Time to Die”, the company released 250 of what it called “Tiger 900 Bond Edition”. “The US allowance sold in 45 seconds,” said Mr. VanderVeen. “Other very rare products take hours or days to sell. “

When the company posts something on social media related to James Bond, it doesn’t just draw more attention to that post. The Bond effect increases engagement with content put in place overnight. Even local dealers are involved in the partnership. “We’ve all got them showing trailers for the movie as well as behind-the-scenes footage showing how the stunts were created with our motorcycles,” he said. “Bond just pumps energy into everything. “

Cars play a particularly important role in the Bond universe. Sam Mendes, who directed “Specter”, introduced the Aston Martin DB10 from that film as “a member of the cast”.

Aston Martin has four cars in “No Time to Die” and, since the film’s UK launch on September 30, the company said it has seen an almost 30% increase in the number of users visiting the website.

“It’s all about brand recognition,” said Marek Reichman, executive vice president and creative director of Aston Martin. “To tell everyone that Aston Martin is driven by the coolest guy on the planet, go buy it. We’re definitely seeing spikes in sales from that.

Others quickly take advantage of limited edition products.

Around the original release date of “No Time to Die”, Omega began selling a “007 Edition” of its Seamaster Diver watch that Daniel Craig helped design. (One of his biggest priorities was to keep it lightweight so it didn’t hamper his jumping stunts.) In the last three weeks, before the film’s release, there was a huge increase in sales. . “We have so many back orders,” said Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega. “It has a real collectable quality given its association with the 25th Bond film and Daniel’s last release as 007.”

Being a Bond partner is so valuable that some brands don’t even have a formal contract with the Bond franchise. There are strategic discussions about their campaigns ahead of the premiere, but “there are no specific demands,” said Bruno of MGM. “Our partners see the value of being associated with Bond and are investing accordingly.” Without specific requirements, of course, there is no clear sense whether the expense of both parties is worth it. Brands have to figure out if their efforts make sense, and many believe they do.

“We have a family-to-family handshake agreement,” said Mr. Michas of Bollinger. “We are doing our part because we love the association.

So when the pandemic delayed the theatrical release of ‘No Time to Die’, Bond partners didn’t complain even though many had already released limited-edition products, held events, and spent time, money. energy and money to advertising campaigns that were about to start. Instead, they got ready to start all over again as soon as Bond’s team said ‘go for it’.

“We planned this event much faster than a typical Champagne Bollinger event,” Ms. Faden said. She even hid some champagne to have him ready when the Bond franchise told her the movie was coming out, even though notice was short.

Some brands even took advantage of the delay, taking advantage not once but twice of the Bond effect.

“By early 2020, they had already released the ‘No Time to Die’ trailer, which showed our motorcycles in it,” said Mr. VanderVeen of Triumph Motorcycles. “We had already announced our partnership, so we might enjoy it a little longer than if the film hadn’t been postponed.”

Aston Martin was in the same situation. “In the trailers it was showing the DB5, so we could go ahead and talk about it,” Mr. Reichman said.

The delay essentially meant that there had been two periods of hype surrounding the film’s release. Like he said, “We need to double the dip.”

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