Martinis No Longer: Heineken to Debut as James Bond’s New Drink

By Maria Nikias

Apr 4, 2012 5:58pm

It’s a famous line that defined the smooth and fearless, iconic character of James Bond: “Shaken, not stirred,” he’d normally say.

But it looks like Bond, played by Daniel Craig, will be ditching the classic martini in the new movie “Skyfall,” and will be going for a Heineken instead.

Heineken USA reached a deal with the Bond campaign to have its brand appear in the new film, according to Advertising Age. Not only will Daniel Craig be asking for a sip of the brew in “Skyfall,” but he will also be starring in a new Heineken ad that will run globally.

“2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, which is generating enormous levels of consumer interest in ‘Skyfall,’” Heineken said in a news release. “It is one of the most anticipated and talked about films this year, providing Heineken with the opportunity to really engage consumers.”

The marketing campaign will launch in September and will focus on websites such as Facebook and Google.

“When two great brands like Heineken and James Bond join together, excitement is guaranteed,” said Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer for Heineken in a news release. “We are confident our activation plan will ignite the conversation with our consumers and film viewers.”

Heineken has had a 15-year-long relationship with the James Bond franchise, including involvement in the films “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Die Another Day,” “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”

The producers of “Skyfall,” Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, expressed excitement about the partnership, calling it ‘unprecedented.’”

According to Advertising Age, Heineken is the second-largest beer import in the U.S. behind Corona, and has failed to grow in recent years.

Larry Woodard, director of Adweek, said the brand has struggled in building its “badge value” – the way in which someone perceives a brand when in a bar.

“If you’re a girl and you’re inside a bar and guys are holding different bottles, the Heineken is the upscale, more-expensive beer brand name,” said Woodard.  ”With Heineken becoming the new ‘shaken not stirred,’ they’re really equating their brand in a very, very direct way with a specific upscale consumer. It’s good because it begins to have Heineken a) go back to its roots and, b) target a consumer that very much is the premier consumer to own in their category.”

Woodard said product placement in movies is common, but that Heineken’s involvement with James Bond is particularly unique.

“Movies tend to do placements that don’t make them have to change any of the plot,” he said. “The brand is actually making a statement because everyone knows that James Bond has got the best gadgets [and] best car, and [now they'll ask] ‘What does it mean if he’s now drinking Heineken?’ It means Heineken is the best beer, theoretically.”

However, he added, the move could have some, but very little, negative feedback because of the sudden change.

“When you try to force your brand that way, that’s risky,” Woodard told ABC News. “The very worst that could happen is people say things like, ‘Oh they’re trying to make James Bond less formal and more casual.’”

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