Whether it's the gadgets in Q's laboratory or the watch on Pierce Brosnan's wrist, the James Bond franchise always promises to impress audiences with the latest, coolest, and best that money can buy. That's why recreational-vehicle maker Bombardier picked the new 007 flick, Die Another Day, to help introduce a hi-tech snowmobile debuting this fall. But the path to sharing screen time with 007 was difficult to navigate.
Tom Freydl, Ketchum VP of entertainment in LA, took Bombardier executives on a series of meetings with "all the major studios to gain an idea of what was in production. "We came to the conclusion that Bond was the best opportunity, he explains. "It really hits their target demographic, and it's a guy-driven film about technology, gadgets, and cool, hip stuff."
Freydl then helped Bombardier broker a deal with MGM. "We sat down and figured out how we were going to utilize this film, what we could give them, and what they could give us, he says. One of the goals was to gain some on-screen time; specifically having the product used by the movie's stars, Brosnan and Halle Barry. "We really wanted to see some type of display of the vehicle in a chase scene, says Freydl.
But Bombardier also wanted to take the partnership beyond the theater, and negotiated for in-store promotions for its 1,000 US outlets, as well as a licensed Bond special edition of the snowmobile. "Generally, the studio gets some of the dollars, and we get to glom onto the idea that it's the Bond stamp of approval, explains Freydl of such ventures.
Freydl is confident the relationship will work, despite the slim chance that Bombardier's gadget could end up on the cutting-room floor.
"Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of studios, producers, and directors want to do what they can in an organic way to make things work out for a promotion partner, claims Freydl. "It's in everyone's best interest to work together."
The film premieres this November, and Bombardier plans to begin a marketing push 30 days before the release. And since part of the film was shot in Iceland, there's a good chance that audiences will see Bond racing by on a sleek new Bombardier.