With the 24th Bond film poised for UK box office release, the hype is reaching fever-pitch. King of the film franchises, Bond inspires – what feels like – every newspaper, magazine and TV station across the globe to report and sensationalise the daily updates fed from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer PR machine.
Nice work if you can get it, but how does a 50+ year-old franchise continue to connect in increasingly awe-inspiring numbers across every continent, transcending age, cultural barriers and economic downturns?
From Dr No through to Spectre, Brand Bond has demonstrated that it understands and can effectively harness its unique appeal. Like every successful brand, it recognises its unique selling point and understands the power of consistency.
Each Bond film focuses on new combinations of glamorous locations, cutting-edge gadgets, beautiful women, fast cars, chart-busting theme tunes and a psychopathic nemesis. Thus, key elements of the brand are consistently delivered. Added to that, although Bond himself is half Scottish, half Swiss, the brand is quintessentially British, which immediately provides it with a unique position amongst all other spy and action film franchises.
Like any brand with an enviable heritage however, Brand Bond’s success is driven also by its ability to move with the times, reacting to cultural and social norms. Daniel Craig’s, Bond is the only rendition who has never smoked and in his own words, his Bond is ‘…not as sexist and misogynistic as earlier incarnations.’ His leading ladies are getting older and his relationships with them, deeper, more complex and more equal. The motivation of his archrivals is reflective of current knife-edge, global political tension and his next Aston Martin will be powered by electricity rather than petrol. Thus Brand Bond is in-touch with and relevant to, the key shifts within our society.
But where does it go from here? With Spectre, almost certainly Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, the franchise has an opportunity to mutate once again, to find new ways of developing the next generation of Bond fans. What’s for sure is that it will stay true to its brand values, transmuting almost imperceptibly, providing an inspiring and pertinent case study for any Brand Manager.
Margaret worked for MGM, as James Bond Brand Manager, for three years. She now develops Brand Strategies for Buzzword clients. You can contact her at [email protected]