007 GETS BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL OF ASTON MARTIN

Automaker Goes Hollywood With Product Placement Deal

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(Aug. 23, 2001) -- Legendary fictional British agent James Bond will be switching gears, getting back behind the wheel of a British car, an Aston Martin, for his next movie from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, tentatively titled "Bond 20" opening in 2002.

The car brand, now owned by Ford Motor Co., will use the movie as a promotional push for its new V12 Vanquish, which has a retail price of $228,000.

The Bond movies started using Aston Martins in the 1960s -- starting with "Goldfinger" in 1964 with the DB5 model. For the last three Bond movies -- "GoldenEye," "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World is Not Enough" -- the Bond character has driven BMW cars and motorcycles.

The new film marks the franchise's 20th release.

BMW surrounded the product placement with a major multimillion-dollar promotional campaign -- which was followed by a number of other car makers in doing film tie-in promotions. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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