‘Bond 23′ To Break Record for Product Placement Sponsorship

Published 4 years ago by

Bond 23 Product Placement Bond 23 To Break Record for Product Placement Sponsorship

This may come as a shock to some, but movies are expensive to make. Especially big action movies like the James Bond films. That’s why more and more studios are turning to “brand partners” to help get their movies made, as director Morgan Spurlock explored in his recent documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (check out our review and our interview with Spurlock).

But can too much product placement ruin a movie? What happens if corporate brands invest so much money into a film that the filmmaker loses control of the finished product?

No film will answer these questions better than the as-yet-unnamed new James Bond film, Bond 23, which will set new records in product placement spending. According to a new report from The Australian newspaper (via TheFilmStage.com), Bond 23 will get an eye-popping $45 million in funds from product placement agreements. That amount equals one-third of the film’s production budget.

To put that figure in perspective, the film that held the record previously was Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, which received $20 million from product placement agreements. For the math haters out there, Bond 23 is getting over twice as much money from big brands.

With the exception of one long action sequence that took place in a Lexus factory (and conveniently ended with the construction of a sleek Lexus car for Tom Cruise to drive away in), I recall Minority Report being pretty good about hiding product placement in the context of the story. The more recent Bond films, on the other hand, have fallen into the trap of lingering on brand names in shots and other ostentatious product placement, which can be very distracting to audiences.

I’m a Bond fan, and I’m pleased that Bond 23 is finally going into production after the MGM bankruptcy saga. I’m also very excited to see what director Sam Mendes brings to the venerable franchise. However, I won’t lie and say that the product placement figures don’t bother me.

James Bond Product Placement Aston Martin Casino Royale Bond 23 To Break Record for Product Placement Sponsorship

Aston Martins: A product that has long been placed in Bond movies.

The James Bond franchise is highly recognizable and, thus, is also easily marketable. It’s no wonder that big brands want to be involved in the next film. One has to wonder, however, just how much influence $45 million buys. In a profit-driven town like Hollywood, I’m betting it’s a lot more than Bond fans would like.

What do you think of this news? Is product placement nothing to worry about, or is it risky to receive one-third of your budget from sponsors?

Source: The Australian (via TheFilmStage.com)

TAGS: James bond
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  1. I think this is where the term “sell out” comes into play.

  2. theoretically it could work just fine

    have a scene at a particular resort and his car is a special brand to be released along side the film. His watch/gadget, Martini brand, and suit could all be subtle yet recognizable as endorsements.

    as long as the story is good and the action is there, what ever it takes to get this movie going is ok by me.

  3. I’m not very sure about this whole product placement deal, but I suppose that if it’s handled with some class and subtlety, it should be alright. Sam Mendes is a very capable director. Here’s hopin’!

  4. I read “In a profit-driven town like Hollywood…” as “In a plot-driven town like Hollywood…” and I’m like what the hell. Saw the mistake.


  5. Bond has had product placements in in since the 60’s anyway. Plus the studio went bust, so it won’t hurt to help the cost of making the next film if we wanna see any more Bond films.

    Product placement can be done very well, so it does not seem obvious and intrude on the movie. Product placement is all around us anyhow, so slipping it should be a piece of cake. I mean every time you see someone driving a new car or glancing at their watch etc… in any film is most probably product placement!

  6. It just depends how well it is done. I can undertstand some needing help in the financial realm and it not bother me.

    Now when the theaters cram commercial after commercial at me on top of charging an arm a leg and other body parts for admission and goodies I get irked……

    • “Now when the theaters cram commercial after commercial at me on top of charging an arm a leg and other body parts for admission and goodies I get irked……”

      Amen Brother AMen

      15.00 for THor ticket plus another 12-15 dollars for snacks I could really do without the *&^^%$% commercials in the theater.

  7. I don’t ever really pay attention to it honestly. What’s distracting is when someone in a movie pours themselves a big bowl of “Loopy-O’s”, drives by a truck called “Zippy Movers” or shampoos their hair with a bottle of, well, “Shampoo”. I mean, truthfully, would it have been the same if Superman had thrown Zod into a giant “Diet Soder” billboard?

    There’s product placement all over my house, along every street and in every store I go to, so why should I even notice it in a movie?

  8. Despicable.

    The last two Bond films were terrible for product placement, the line about Bond’s watch in Casino Royale was disgraceful. Let’s hope this is the end of Thug Bond, get this franchise back on track.

    • DSB, I don’t remember what kind of watch he was wearing so there’s your advertising doolars at work.


  9. I don’t mind it if it’s done right, as long as you don’t have Bond saying things like “It’s a good thing I had this tube of Colgate Extra Whitening Plastic Explosive Toothpaste”.

    We see all kinds of these things in film and television all the time. Companies are just paying to have there product used. It’s something that can easily be masked.

    • Except when they start writing lines deliberately to highlight the product. Which they did.

      • I honestly can’t hate them for doing that thoug. Last year for my Mass Media and Ethics class we had to write a paper on product placement and whichever movie and I picked the latest Bond films and how much product placement were in the movies and that paper helped me get on A in the class.

  10. Perhaps they could play it like today’s soap operas do, and have a scene where he’s preparing some brand of frozen, microwaveable dumplings, and he turns to his guest, Q, and starts spouting off about each dumpling’s nutritional value, and how they’re the right sort of fuel that helps Bond fulfill each mission, that he never jumps in his Aston Martin without them in his tummy, yummy!

    And that’ll be before he even spouts off the product’s marketing slogan, and the bag of frozen morsels will be obtrusively placed right at the edge of the screen, so the moviegoers get the packaging emblazoned into their brains.

    Sadly, I’m not joking about soap operas and this type of treatment. It’s utterly absurd. It seems like one big joke, some comedy-show parody but, No, it’s worked into the script.

  11. Do they have a brand of barf bags they can advertise?

  12. interesting

  13. Jame Bont he realy greatt he rock my world yess!

    This comment sponsored by Nestle.

    • LMAO!!

  14. I still remember Demolition Man from 1993 starring Wesley Snipes, Stallone and Sandra Bullock. It was set in the future where “all restaurants are Taco Bell”. They actually changed the restaurant to Pizza Hut when showing the movie in countries that don’t have Taco Bell.
    Advertising has always been there. Somehow I don’t believe that 45 million is the highest amount. How much did GM pay for Transformers?

    • Is that what happened?
      When I first saw Demolition Man on TV and VHS it had Taco Bell, when I bought it the other day on DVD it was Pizza Hut.
      The voice over/re-dub is soooo obvious.

      • Andrew what dvd release of Demo Man had Pizza Hut in there?

        In the theatrical release Taco Bell owned every resturant. It was meant to be an inside joke on marketing. Now I’ve gotta buy that movie on dvd, owell there is Sandra Bullock in that one.

  15. It’s understandable that people are frustrated with the fact that product placements, if handled poorly, can reduce the quality of a script. On the other hand, it can help to draw the audience in by incorporating elements of our society.

    In the case of the James Bond franchise, it’s nice to see products we know (e.g., cars, watches, drinks) to help understand Bond’s character–he’s a classy guy who likes expensive things; we are a materialistic society. Seeing Bond driving an Aston Martin gives us a frame of reference as to the amount of wealth and class that MI6 has.

    • i am pretty sure budget will be bigger then 135 mill.150-170 mill at leist

    • Good points and in some films it actually sells a scene.

      Stay Puff man in Ghostbusters,,,
      huh? Haaaa

  16. Not a fan of the new Bond anyway but it is getting a bit much. I find it disconcerting when the PP is so in your face as it is so often. Like a slap on the face that snaps you back to reality, especially when it’s out place in the world – see close up on Nokia in Star Trek, Ford Ka in last Bond etc.
    For extra awfulness see latest Bones episode featuring several lines about main characters crappy new car.
    You don’t mind seeing Bond munching beluga caviar or driving an aston martin after all he likes the good life as Sean said but it’s just distracting when they’re mundane brands. Oh look, he’s drinking cheap vodka and someone is having a Bud. Wolverine could have a cheap beer or an expensive cigar and that’d fit but can you see him enjoying his new Hugo Boss suit.
    I dunno maybe I’m just a curmudgeon and I’m getting old, catching myseif using words like “curmudgeon” and “willynilly” in all seriousness.Goddammit.

    • It’s fine- I’m 19 and I love the word “curmudgeon”. It’s a very fun word to throw around.

  17. As long as it isn’t like the past year or so of Fringe, where lingering looks at things like video phones in Fords have literally ruined the show for me- as in, I haven’t watched it since an Android was clumsily used for a phone call two weeks ago.

  18. or like in FF: ROTSS when the Fantasticar is landing on the roof and the they do a 50 second shot of the Dodge logo and then have the Human Torch say “Hemi?” .. I almost turned the movie off after that..Reed Richards designing cars for Dodge…WTH!!!

  19. Bond is back! Yes!!

  20. It’s a bloated film budget, without the endorsements they’d have a hard time justifying the balance of FX and crazy feats against the average action-drama. I see the endorsements going towards bonus FX they now don’t have to shave back.

  21. You have your terminology Wrong and Innacurate. You might mean, promotional marketing support…Not placement fees (not called sponsorship). NO film would ever get close to that number.

  22. The product placements could be easily subtle:
    Apple MacBooks
    Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia…
    Rolex watches
    Sony watch that controls the Sony Xperia
    several car brands (including the trademark Aston).. VW Touregs, lead bad guy in a Lambo, Bond girl in a Ferrari, Honda motorbikes..Tyre brands
    fuel companies
    Airline companies
    Helicopter manufacturers
    weapon manufacturers
    food & drink brands
    Clothing labels
    headphones (Beats by Dr. Dre…)
    TV stations
    TV manufacturers
    Radio stations

  23. Well we do live in a manufactured world in many ways. If the characters we watch and like live there too then it’s a natural thing. It’s annoying to me if it’s not entertaining. That’s the litmus for me anyway. The aforementioned Caviar is a good example. To me it was a very effective one. Now you’ve got me wondering if some grape growers association sponsored the scene where Bond plucks the grape as he’s heading out the door in one of the other movies in the famous series?? 😉

  24. For me the answer is simple: the movie just went from “maybe i’ll go to the theatre, maybe not” to “I’ll wait until it comes out on Netflix or something similar”. Already fed up paying for 10 minutes of publicity in theatres before the movie starts. If I want to see pub I’ll turn the tv on.

  25. Its not the leve of product placement that is disturbing but the level of nehaivor placement that bothers me. Thanks to TV many believe that its actually illegal to own a firearm without government approval.

  26. Is product placement unethical and if so why? is it a deception to customers and viewers of the show? the concept of figure and ground where James is the figure and i assume these brands are the background of the scene.. could this act of this be an ad under false pretense please help my understanding some bright person..

  27. Well Andrew I guess the question is: are movies art? If so: what is art? Is it something to elevate manking over the simple needs of everyday life or a simple tool for commerce? Now if you want to pay for 2 hours of product placement with some spy story in background its up to you. Not me. Publicity is only a tool to create needs where there is none, turn you into a passive consumer of toys. Far from art I would say.

    Now imagine how obscene it would be to have in Michelangelo`s Pietà Jesus replaced by an Ipad 2 because the Vatican thinks it would be good for their treasury…

    In french we used to call a prostitute ‘a women who does commerce’. That’s what commerce is, nothing more.

  28. C’mon. You’ve never seen “Buy Another Day?”