Bond – the brand that never dies


Screen Shot 2012-11-09 at 10.53.33James Bond continues to be the best ever example of brand revitalisation. Skyfall is the 23rd movie in the brand's 50 year history, and looks set to be the most successful ever. Reports say the movie has already grossed a whopping  $321,000,000 worldwide. The $32.4 million opening weekend in the UK is the second-highest in history.

If you haven't seen Skyfall yet, there is a trailer to tempt you below on the blog, or click here to see it (warning, it has some of the best bits in!)

So, how does brand Bond do it? What brand inspiration can we take from Skyfall?

Overall, Skyfall is another brilliant example of how brand Bond creates "fresh consistency". It also does a great job of tapping into cultural trends.

Consistency – remember what made you famous

Most fundamentally, the brand story is the same as it always has been: "Bond beats the baddie to save the world". Although in Skyfall, the emphasis is more saving Britain.

We have familiar brand properties we know, love and expect. Just count them:

– Music/theme tune

– 007 logo

– Characters: Q, M, Moneypenny

– Gadgets

– Cars, in particular Aston Martin

– Girls 

– Etc.

Interestingly, my Bond geek mate Jason observed how Skyfall ends with James Bond going back to M's office that looks very much like the original one from the Goldfinger era (see below), with a new Miss Moneypenny sitting outside, and even the door looking the same. This suggests the next movie could continue to go back to the roots of the Bond brand for inspiration.

Screen Shot 2012-11-09 at 11.24.33
Freshness – refresh what made you famous

The real genius of Skyfall is the way it has refreshed the story and properties, to make the movie really compelling. Here are just a few examples:

– Q is now a young, web-savvy techno geek who would be more at home working for Facebook

– The baddie attacks Britain not just with brute force, but also by hacking into computers 

– The theme tune has been done by Adele, and is one of the best in a long time

– We learn more about Bond's backround and childhood

This fresh flavour also reflects the bold mastersroke of the producers to hire Oscar winning director Sam Mendes to direct the movie.

Tap into trends

Like all great brands, Bond has tapped into cultural trends. Skyfall arrives in the year of the London 2012 games and the Queen's jubilee, and it a very British movie. It also cleverly reflects the tough economic times, with Bond having to defend his usefulness and fight against being made redundant. Its darker and more morose, but this makes it all the more compelling.

In conclusion, what a movie. What a brand. What inspiration for fresh consistency. I'm off to see Syfall for a second time!