Wednesday, April 11, 2012

James Bond Switches to Beer -Oh No! Say it ain't so!

The world will never be quite the same. The 22 previous James Bond films have seen six actors play the title character and ten different car brands piloted by the MI6 spy. One thing that has remained since the beginning has been Bond’s signature drink: a vodka martini, “shaken, not stirred.” But for the next installment, Skyfall, Bond will be drinking something less potent. He’ll be drinking a Heineken.

Thanks to a product placement deal with the Dutch brewer, at least one scene in the new film will see Daniel Craig requesting a Heineken from behind the bar. The brand has had a partnership with the film for 15 years, but this is the beermaker’s most major attempt to capitalize on the Bond name. While it’s unlikely that he’ll keep returning to the bar for Heineken after Heineken, the mere fact that Bond is ordering a beer should turn heads. For the Bond franchise, it’s a marked change of plot.

The company will pair the movie name-drop with an international ad campaign also starring Craig. The ad boom is a strong-armed attempt for the Amsterdam-based brewer to keep up with the king of import beers, Corona, which prides itself on its collegiate beachfront advertisements. Taking the suave route, though, Heineken will play off the professionalism and sophistication of James Bond to craft an image of their beer. He is the “epitome of the man of the world,” Heineken’s chief marketing officer Leysa Lysyj said when announcing the partnership.

Personally I could not care less if James has a beer occasionally. I enjoy a good beer every now and again. And, if you have to give in to blatant commercialism, they could do worse. Heineken is actually pretty good beer -just so long as they don't get carried away. Bond still has a right to a good Vodka Martini from time to time. That said, some of my friends and fellow fans can’t seem to calmly drink in the change. Several are up in arms that Heineken could force such a major script change. The backlash was just as strong when Bond switched his classic Aston Martin for a BMW in Goldeneye. This time though, his bar tab will hardly affect the movie’s plot – unless he drinks one too many, gains a beer belly, and can no longer outpace the bad guys.

Above all, I just hope he doesn’t fall victim to old habits and ask for his Heineken shaken.

Live Long and Prosper...

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