Dictating product placement loses sight of the endgame

Daniel Craig defending the rampant product placement at the cost of the traditional elements:

“A movie like this costs 118 million dollars to make – it’s the nature of it, the size of the movie. And it costs another 200 million dollars to sell it. So the 200 million dollars has to come from somewhere,” the Daily Express quoted him, as telling Vanity Fair magazine.

“Product placement, whichever way you look at it, whether you like it or you think it’s disgusting or whatever, it’s what it is. Heineken gave us a ton of money for there to be Heineken in a shot in a bar… Without them, the movie couldn’t get sold,” he said.

Well that seems entirely rational, does it not? Except:

1. Why did the martini have to be replaced?   Why on earth couldn’t Heineken beer be all over the place but when he’s in the casino or somewhere like that, he sips the shaken, not stirred Martini, as he’s always done in the films?

The answer appears to be that Heineken directed producers not to drink anything else, not unlike McDonalds and fries in London during the Olympics.   As a result of that, I won’t go to McDonalds nor drink Coke.   If this turns out to be true about Heineken, I’ll boycott them too.

2.  How do firms get this much editorial power today?   In earlier Bond films, there was certainly product placement but not at the expense of the traditional elements, except perhaps for the Lotus in FYEO.

Fans expect certain things to be in there.   I suspect this is Barbara Broccoli’s inability to negotiate properly with the firms.   The business nouse of the early films saw firms as lucky to even be advertised in a Bond film – they scrambled to be included.  Now the firms dictate.  Broccoli and the other one do not appear to be business people.  And Craig certainly isn’t.

What they lose sight of in this is the endgame, i.e. what they’re selling.   That is a package in which fans expect to see a certain Bond “authenticity” in terms of the films, if not the books.   They don’t pay money to see a Bourne clone or a film of a different genre.   They’re bums are on those seats because of the name Bond.   The money they pay is because of that.

That transcends Heineken or any other firm lucky enough to be accepted as sponsors.  And it is rubbish about the money.   Those last two films made an enormous profit.  Where is the money from those which was ploughed back into the next film?   Or didn’t Broccoli and Wilson think of that?

Every outlet knows that the bums have to go on the seats before expenses are paid.   if an outlet refused to distribute the film, they’d lose all that money when the film was released.   So their insistence on money up front is rubbish.   What outlet is going to miss out on the gravy train?   Hell, in business, firms invoice the client and there’s a time period to pay.

So Craig’s claims look very wishy-washy indeed and from what I’ve heard of the theme song and seen of the film so far, it appears more in the Quantum vein than the Casino Royale so far.  Anyway, we’ll know after the 26th.

6 comments for “Dictating product placement loses sight of the endgame

  1. wiggiatlarge
    October 5, 2012 at 16:22

    Product placement is not new but increasing fast with ever more subtle and not so subtle appearances, I believe Coronation St started using it some time ago, that is officially.
    Two recent examples one on the BBC, were Monty Don opening Gardeners world taking photographs of the last of the seasons flowers with the latest Fuji X-Pro and then setting it down so the camera could zoom in on it, and Sarah Beenies latest property program in which an i-phone is displayed with a web page clearly visible depicting a web dating site owned by one Sarah Beeny , sadly as they say get used to it.

  2. October 5, 2012 at 21:40

    It’s an interesting trend. We get used to it too – or most of us seem to. Brand names on clothing for example – that’s product placement on your own body.

    When will we see product placement in supposedly factual TV documentaries or even news items? Or do we get that already?

  3. October 5, 2012 at 21:49

    BBC c1970 Blue Peter, Val Singleton introducing “one that I made earlier”, the word ” Heinz” blocked out but the surrounding logo outline clear for all to see.

  4. Rossa
    October 6, 2012 at 08:06

    I’ve never bought anything that was placed in a movie or the latest must have gadget (I like to eat fruit not play with it!). There are a lot of people who couldn’t care less. I want something that will ‘do what it says on the tin’ (think that was in an advert somewhere) not offer empty promises, a good example being various lotions and potions to make us look younger, less wrinkly or whatever.

    I do buy some branded foods but only because I think they are the best of their type. I also buy own brands and cheap and cheerful as long as it’s fit for purpose. You get what you pay for but I am at least aware that by buying branded goods part of the cost goes into the marketing.

  5. wiggiatlarge
    October 6, 2012 at 09:32

    Just a small add on, the advertising of products is a fair practice for the producers, what I have never understood is why anyone by buying obviously branded products such as premier league football shirts with the sponsors logo larger than the club motif would actually pay to advertise someone else s product, it was the same when supermarkets started to charge for carrier bags all sporting the name large of the supermarket on them, they should be paying you ? unfortunately it is difficult short of using an angle grinder to buy a car without the nameplate.

  6. October 6, 2012 at 11:06

    All noted.

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