James Bond will no longer be ordering martinis “shaken, not stirred.” The Bond franchise has sealed a marketing deal with Heineken, rumored at $45 million, to have the spy sip on the Dutch beer instead of the usual martini in the upcoming Bond film, Skyfall.
The news doesn’t seem to be going over well in England, at least in the press. Bryony Gordon, writing in the Telegraph today, complained that the Bond franchise has been “an orgy of product placement” and that Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond book series, was very specific about Bond’s choice of tipple: a martini shaken, so as not to ruin the drink’s flavor. “Such obsessive attention to detail goes to show that a James Bond film without a martini is almost as sacrilegious as a James Bond film without James Bond,” she wrote, adding that, admittedly, Bond has strayed from his signature drink in the past. In Die Another Day, Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, orders a mojito — sacrilege!
Is turning Bond into a beer man really such a big deal? Yahoo Movie Talk asked its readers to post their reactions to the news on Twitter and Facebook and received a lot of negative responses — “boos,” “screw ’ems,” and the like. The move could actually backfire on both brands. Larry Woodard, director of Adweek, told ABC News that he thinks a product placement like this one is risky. “The very worst that could happen is people say things like, ‘Oh they’re trying to make James Bond less formal and more casual.'” That is, in fact, what Gordon was expressing when she asked, “Will we one day see Bond munching on pickled onion Monster Munch, chomping back pasties, and slipping into an Adidas shell suit?”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2012