EVENTS & PROMOTIONS: 007'S SPONSOR BLITZ: NEW FILM INKS DEALS WITH AVIS, HEINEKEN, VISA, BMW, SMIRNOFF

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The upcoming James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" is breaking new ground for global integrated film promotions, said Karen Sortito, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's exec VP-worldwide promotions and corporate sponsorships.

"Finally, a majority of marketers are using one template for global promotions, so the process is simplified and there's across-the-world integration of promotions . . . It's a real step forward," Ms. Sortito said.

Heineken USA last week revealed its integrated promotion plans for the film, marking the beer marketer's first major global promotion. The film is set to open Dec. 19.

BOND GOES POP

The fictional secret agent, portrayed by Pierce Brosnan, will appear on Heineken point-of-purchase displays worldwide during the latter half of November and through the holidays, said Steve Davis, Heineken USA VP-marketing.

The push is part of Heineken's ongoing effort to raise its profile through entertainment tie-ins.

Heineken has also ramped up other promotions and advertising, spending $2.8 million during the first quarter of 1997, up 278% from the year-earlier period.

Although Heineken already has several product-placement film credits, this is its first prominent role. It was negotiated by promotions agency Norm Marshall & Associates, Sun Valley, Calif.

Although the brewer's film presence ultimately will be determined by the filmmakers, Mr. Davis said he is hot on its current placement: During one scene, 007 crashes a car into a Heineken truck.

Promotional materials, handled by Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn., will appear in major markets in the U.S. and in up to a dozen other countries.

The brewer now is designing a James Bond holiday catalog, offering all sorts of electronic gizmos, to go with the in-store displays.

Other marketers that have announced major tie-ins to the film include Avis Rent A Car System, BMW of North America, Ericsson Corp.'s cellular telephones, Heublein's Smirnoff vodka brand, L'Oreal and Visa International.

Computer maker Gateway 2000 is also in talks with MGM to link with the film, but nothing has been finalized, Ms. Sortito said.

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