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James Bond Switches Drinks

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“Shaken, not stirred” jokes are about to get a lot of play. In advance of this fall’s Skyfall, James Bond will begin pushing Heineken beer. In the movie, he’s even going to trade the imported beer for his usual martini (albeit in only one scene).

Daniel Craig’s Bond will star in a Heineken ad created by the agency Wieden and Kennedy, Amsterdam. The ad and Skyfall product placement are part of a larger, Bond-inspired campaign by the beer maker that will also include Bond images on Heineken packaging.

Heineken USA’s chief marketing officer Lesya Lysyj told AdAge that Bond “is a perfect fit for us.”

The Dutch beer company is currently the US’s second-largest importer, behind Corona, but their sales have slowed in recent years. According to Lysyj, surveyed customers seemed to know very little about the beer company, a fact that the new campaign hopes to change. Along with the James Bond angle, the company will run outdoor, print, and digital ads focused on the beer’s quality and traditions.

Meanwhile, James Bond will be pulling double duty as a spokesman. An introduction to the London Summer Olympics features the secret agent parachuting into Olympic Stadium in Stratford, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Bond films have a fairly long history of product placement. Perhaps most famous is the brand’s long-standing relationship with Aston Martin, one that is reportedly returning to its Goldfinger roots in the upcoming film. (By the way, the Goldfinger car sold for $4.6 million in 2010.)

The Guardian points out that Casino Royale gave a lot of play to Bond’s Omega watch, while Tomorrow Never Dies featured his Ericsson (ERIC) phone. Of course, viewers have lower expectations for Bond’s watch and phone than they do for his drinks.

Then again, this isn’t the first time product placement has changed up a Bond drink. The Bond martini is most prominently associated with Smirnoff (DEO) but the company briefly lost its tie-in to Finlandia in Die Another Day, only to see it returned in Casino Royale.

I hope that the new Heineken tie-in doesn’t change the Bond brand too much. More importantly, I hope he doesn’t order his beer shaken (had to do it).
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