Daniel Craig, the latest actor to play James Bond, has called the partnership with Heineken “unfortunate,” but says he understands that the financial demands of a big movie require product placement. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a sponsor that could be paying as much as $45 million for the privilege.
“This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can,” Craig told Moviefone.com.
Ad Age first reported that Heineken signed on with the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, which will be out November 9. Bond will sip the beer in at least one scene of the movie, appear on packaging, and will be in an ad. CMO Lesya Lysyj says the partnership is “a perfect fit” despite the fact that Bond is known for drinking his martinis “shaken, not stirred.”
Yahoo notes that fans are pissed off over the change, though the character had also done away with his car of choice, the Aston Martin, in one of the films. The movies have also historically had a wide range of villans (listen to the wonderful Javier Bardem talking about his turn as Silva in his stunning Spanish accent here) , Bond girls, songs (many panned), and actors playing James Bond. You’ll remember that many people were upset that a blond, albeit a hot one, was chosen to play the traditionally dark haired secret agent.
It just so happens we caught Casino Royale on cable a couple of weeks ago and the over-the-top product placement is splashed across the screen in such a ham-handed way that adding Heineken to the mix shouldn’t really be a problem. It would be great if all of the product placement was turned down a notch for our viewing pleasure.