Belvedere is open to striking more product placement deals in order to generate greater brand awareness after hailing the success of its appearance in the latest James Bond film - Spectre.
The premium vodka is in the midst of its marketing for the 24th film in the franchise, celebrating its launch this week with a screening of its own in London. It's the first time Belvedere has paid to be in a film of this scale and while the tie-up is "exceeding expectations" six weeks in, president Charles Gibb said it will wait until early next year to decide whether to pursue an ongoing relationship with cinema's most famous secret agent.
But that doesn't mean it's not open to doing more product placement in future. “I think yes we’ll do more but only with the right brand,” said Gibb. “We’re six weeks into this journey. We’d love to continue this relationship [with the Bond franchise]. Once the dust settles in the new then we’ll evaluate and look to see if we’ll do anything anywhere else.”
Given the spy's penchant for vodka martinis, Belvedere is a natural fit for the franchise, which was looking for a premium vodka brand going into the movie's production. And the brand gets its moment in the film when Bond finds a dusty old bottle of the super premium vodka during his search for the next clue in his hunt for the film's villain.
Bond and product placements are frequent bedfellows, with Daniel Craig's incarnation going further than his predecessors to unashamedly promote the likes of Heineken and Aston Martin while he protects Queen and country. Indeed, a minimum of 17 product placements are littered throughout Spectre including Ford, Sony Mobile and Bollinger champagne.
And yet compared to some of the more in-your-face product placements in Bond, Belvedere's inclusion is downplayed and that's just fine for Gibb, who said the mere fact that it’s associated with one of film's most lucrative franchises is spiking awareness.
“Suddenly the brand awareness has shot up,” said Gibb. “We’re in a 120 countries around the world and the impact that Bond has in every single one of those markets is huge. Social media is helping spread that awareness and the channels we use to do this vary depending on the market. Instagram is clearly huge at the moment in terms of people wanting to share images of what they’re doing.”
Product placements are a staple of cinema, with advertisers and media agencies looking to make the most of the halo effect created by buzz around eagerly anticipated movies. And it works; The return of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 in Skyfall sparked a 35 per cent surge in searches for the luxury car manufacturer in the week following its release, according to eBay Advertising. Just two days before Spectre hit screens, customers searching for Bond's Omega watch leapt by a third.
However, it's formula is yet to translate as effectively over to TV, where there is a dearth of product placement. It first hit UK screens in 2011 but some production companies have voiced concerns that media agencies and broadcasters haven’t pushed the technique more to advertisers, preferring instead to protect their traditional market paces of spots and sponsorships.
“We were looking for things that could help us grow the brand on a global scale,” added Gibb. “Partnering has the potential to really impact the trajectory of the brand on a global basis because of its international reach.”