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.
Filed under: Literature & performing arts