• Nov 19th 2006 at 8:26AM
  • 26
Each new James Bond film, in addition to being an event in and of itself, is a massive advertisement for every single branded item seen on the silver screen. Whether it's 007's Smirnoff vodka, Walther pistol, or Aston Martin automobile, each item's appearance on screen is indeed a Very Big Deal for the company behind it. And so, Ford is crowing about its involvement in Casino Royale in an article on its website (read it after the jump). The film represents the first time the general populace will see the new European-market Ford Mondeo and Aston Martin's DBS (shown), which will spawn a production model as well.

Ford's desire to promote its involvement is to be expected. After all, firms pay big bucks to get placed in high-profile films. A full read of the article, however, reveals a bit of gloating as FoMoCo has some fun with the fact that it, and not Toyota, is the supplier of James Bond's car. While we thank God that we weren't subjected to the sight of James Bond driving a Camry (a clear sign of the apocalypse), the reality is that Toyota offered up something significantly more upmarket. Apparently, they approached the filmmakers with enough dough to fill the bed of a Tundra and proposed having their upcoming supercar (presumably the production version of the LF-A concept) be Bond's ride of choice.

There's more after the jump, so read on!

[Source: Ford via Inside Line]

Of the offer, Ford Brand Entertainment's Al Uzielli said, "We're all in a business where we have to be extremely careful in where we take our brands. It just wouldn't seem right to have the consummate British agent drive a Japanese car. Regardless of what the money was, in the long run, it's 'where does that take your brand?'"
Really? I recall the consummate British agent driving German cars from 1995 to 1999 and no one losing sleep over it. Sure, there was a brief outcry prior to GoldenEye's arrival in 1995, but after that it was a non-issue. People other than the real die-hards generally have more pressing worries than what make of car is being driven by a fictional character in a movie.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled that the filmmakers have had Bond back behind the wheel of an Aston the last few years. There's a decades-long history between James Bond and Aston Martin on film, and aside from all that, the DBS is ridiculously cool. But calling out Toyota by name over this is just silly and ill-advised. Aston Martin is, after all, for sale, and this likely marks the last appearance it'll make in a James Bond film as a member of Ford's product portfolio. Next time, someone else will bask in the perceived glory. Maybe that's why Ford's being as vocal about this as it is -- it knows there won't be a next time.

Still, it doesn't seem very wise, because while Ford does the "raise the roof" gesture over this product placement as if they just scored a touchdown, Toyota waves back from its perch labeled "#2 Worldwide" -- a spot it it took away from Ford in the first place -- while it plots its next move and points at the scoreboard. Whose position would you rather be in?


By Daniel Wallace, FCN

The highly anticipated Bond...James Bond...film, "Casino Royale," opens this week in theaters around the world and Bond lovers will play close attention to actor Daniel Craig, the new 007--what he's wearing, who's on his arm and certainly, what he drives.

When it comes to Bond's vehicles in "Casino Royale," Ford takes center stage.

The movie features the new Aston Martin DBS as well as the refreshed Ford Mondeo. "Casino Royale" continues Ford's longstanding relationship with the Bond franchise that stretches back over five decades and 17 films.

"It's both deeply gratifying and tremendously exciting to watch the partnership between Ford and James Bond continue to grow," said Myles Romero, director, Ford Global Brand Entertainment. "Just as every actor who's played James Bond has brought his distinctive sensibilities to the role, the new models that 'co-star' in this film are simultaneously unique and immediately recognizable as members of the Ford family."

James Bond is typically associated with super sporty vehicles outfitted with technically advanced gadgetry – something the average person might never get the chance to drive. But this film takes on a slightly more prosaic approach. The cars are still sporty, but they're much like the ones you'd see at your area dealership. You get a sense of that in the first few minutes of the film when Bond gets into a Ford Mondeo that transports him to a hotel in the Bahamas.

When filmmakers approached Ford, Mondeo's design was just a sketch on the drawing board. The result was a misty blue five-door Mondeo equipped with a sports body kit that hinted at what the new model would look like in '07. It took crews several weeks to build the vehicle by hand. It is basically a body shell, without amenities like air conditioning, and an engine just big enough to go 30 mph.

Mondeo's presence in "Casino Royale" is big news for Ford of Europe and is one of its largest product placements.

"It's amazing the amount of interest that is generated around this vehicle. It was a closed set but paparazzi were hiding everywhere," Romero said.

The reveal of the new Mondeo in the film is part of Ford's European marketing platform called "Ford Feel the Difference," which seeks to make an emotional connection with customers.

"In very broad terms, the association with 'Casino Royale' delivers perfectly on the platform theme as it will enable us to build more style in our brand," said Lyn West, Brand Communication Strategies manager, Ford of Europe. "The movie is about adventure, glamour, technology and humour -- thereby supporting our marketing message of 'style with substance.' "

"We're delighted to be part of this exciting new Bond project," said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe vice president, Marketing Sales and Service. "On the big screen, the new Mondeo looks impressive and eye-catching, and we're convinced this appearance, although brief, will stimulate early customer interest in the new model"

Full details of the new Mondeo will remain under wraps until the car is officially launched early in 2007. It will be sold in 21 countries abroad.

In true Bond style, 007's mode of transportation for most of the movie is an Aston Martin. The luxury automaker is showcasing its newest product, the Aston Martin DBS, a car that captures the elegance of a DB9 and the power of a DBR9 race car.

It's a role coveted by other automakers. According to Al Uzielli, senior advisor, Ford Global Brand Entertainment, Toyota offered the Broccoli family, owners of the Bond franchise, a multi-million dollar deal to put Bond behind the wheel of Lexus' supercar.

"The beauty of Aston Martin is that it's such a natural fit for the character," said Uzielli, grandson of Henry Ford II. There's also a long-standing family relationship since Henry Ford II brokered the deal with Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli to showcase the '64½ Ford Mustang convertible in the Goldfinger film.

From the brand of the liquor Bond drinks to the cars he drives, filmmakers pay close attention to detail, making sure every element is consistent with the setting and is sensible for the film.

"We're all in a business where we have to be extremely careful in where we take our brands. It just wouldn't seem right to have the consummate British agent drive a Japanese car. Regardless of what the money was, in the long run, it's 'where does that take your brand?'" Uzielli said.

The Jaguar XJ Sport and XJR and Land Rover Range Rover Sport, also take part in the action -- driven by both Bond and villains in high-speed chase scenes. Bob Witter, manager, Ford Global Brand Entertainment, says Ford has greater room to negotiate because of the wide range of vehicles it can offer through its many brands.

Romero says product integration gains brand exposure in a way traditional marketing cannot. "Die Another Day," he says, generated more than a billion positive impressions for the company worldwide.

"If you integrate products into a film that, first of all, make sense with the script and, secondly, work well with the creative, you successfully get your marketing message across. I think movie-goers will find that Ford has a lot to offer," he said.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      aliasfox, Grey Goose is French... and Bond is from the UK. thats my take. hahaha
      • 8 Years Ago
      On the note of brand placement, any red-blooded Autoblog reader would have noticed that in Casino Royale nearly EVERY CAR is FoMoCo, which is, frankly, the tackiest thing ever. The baddies drive an XJR, which peels out from a parking lot populated solely by Volvos and Jags. On the roads Fords and Mercurys swerve out of the way. Remember the Matrix II highway scene? I couldn't enjoy it because every car was GM in a totally obvious way (except Trinity's hot Ducati). For Bond I attended the midnight premiere, the audience of which was all lower twenties kids like me, and when it cut to him in the Mondeo half the people laughed. Whatever, Ford. At least nobody drove that POS Thunderbird in this one. And, though I drive a 4Runner, I have to agree with Mike: not a lot of 007-style passion in the lineup from Aichi.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Toyota 2000GT is to this day my most favorite of all Bond automobiles, even when I was a child and had no idea who built it. As a severe Toyota fan some 31 years, I researched this car a few years ago and was not at all surprised how magnificent a machine it was for the times and the various records it set at the racetrack. Ford had better focus it's energies on merely continuing to exist, as it's current status sure makes me happy I don't depend on them for my livelihood. After selling my Depression era mother who wanted to buy only American a "Ford" Festiva (rebadged Kia), and selling my family a 15 passenger van when we outgrew our Previa for $20,000 and three years later with only 100,000 miles I could only get $11,000, (depreciation or what!), Ford has made this soul grateful Toyota is here. I've traveled to some remote areas of the world and where people are poor, repair facilities are few, and the environment extreme, it's Toyotas not Fords I saw moving the world. It make's me sick how Ford claims being a "Green" company when it's Escape Hybrid (technology purchased from Toyota) is advertised on PBS. They fail to mention however that they are one of the highest spenders on lobbyists working to keep the mandatory fuel economy limits low. They may make the movies, but Toyota is and will have it's day. Was that movie filmed in Mexico where the Fusion is built?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Saw Casino Royale last night, the glamour shots of all the Fords were way too obvious and very annoying to me. I was hoping for a good chase scene with the Aston. They had one chase scene with it, but it was really short and IMO made the Aston look really bad at accident avoidance and had bad lighting :) It looked like it flipped without even going off the pavement.
      • 8 Years Ago
      toyota doesn't need the marketing anyway
      • 8 Years Ago
      Two things come to mind after reading this story. As a previous poster points out, Sean Connery drove a Toyota 2000 and I thought that car was a SWEET ride. And before Ford gloats too much more, our favourite agent also drove AMC's. 'nuff said.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You Only Live Twice featured a super clean white 2000GT convertible, while driven by Bond's Japanese female agent guide it was the main car in the film at a time when not all the cars had to feature 50+ gadgets so it would qualify as full fledged "Bond-Mobile." Besides if you want to be "purist" (original pupl novels) he should be cruising in Bentleys.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sony Vaios, Sony Ericsson Phones, FoMoCo cars.

      I think Toyota should only try and put in a bid if James Bond returns to Asia at some point. An LF-A in Tokyo might be fun.

      And why is Bond drinking Smirnoff? Wouldn't something along the lines of Grey Goose be more in character for him?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone is talking about Toyota. Actually comparing Toyota to an Aston Martin or any highend luxury car. I find that is an honour. What would happened if the more inspired soulful car, Lexus, is compared to those other highend brands ? IF Toyota won the bid to showcase their car, it would be a Lexus. I still think James Bond should stick to its heritage of Aston Martins ! I found Bond in a Ford, I said Ford, Mondeo was cheap !!! Tasteless !
      • 8 Years Ago

      Lack of gadgets? The Aston has a freaking defibrillator in it! And for how actually cool the Mondeo looks, the idea that Bond is driving it while trying to establish a credible cover as a rich dude in the Bahamas is laughable. That said, the Ford products don't do well. Bond trashes a Land Rover in a valet parking lot and gives it a look of utter disdain walking away from it. The Aston gets left in the dust by the baddies' Jaguars and then loses control when when swerving to avoid an, uhhh, object (CGI, not real stunt, by the way). But this is the money-grubbing Bond franchise at its product placement worst, Sony Vaio, Omega watch (name-checked, natch), and a sordid lineup of Fords. There is a brief appearance by a silver Aston DB5, however, which is nice.

      • 8 Years Ago
      THERE WAS A LEXUS LS IN THE EMBASSY SCENE IN THE BEGINING!!!!!!!!!!! did you guys see it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "A full read of the article, however, reveals a bit of gloating as FoMoCo has some fun with the fact that it, and not Toyota, is the supplier of James Bond's car."

      And I'm sure Toyota is having fun with the fact that it's raking in the dough while FoMoCo is teetering on the brink of death.

      Ford can just kiss Toyota's ass.
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