Norelco is latest marketer to get on the Bond wagon

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MGM Distribution Co.'s pool of James Bond marketing partners seems almost as limitless as the spy's array of high-tech spy gizmos. Hoping to tap that gadgetry legacy, Royal Philips Electronics' Norelco is making the upcoming Bond film "Die Another Day" centerpiece of an integrated global launch for its Spectra Shaving System.

TV and cinema ads from Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, London, began running Nov. 10 in advance of the film's Nov. 22 national release. One 30-second TV and cinema ad touts Spectra as Bond's "razor of choice." Two more 30-second ads highlighting Spectra's nine personal comfort-control settings aren't directly tied to the film but are Bond-esque, with nervous, stubbly men in dentist chairs who seem to await diabolical clinical torture but instead get extra-close-and-comfy power shaves.

The Spectra appears in what Nina Riley, senior marketing director for Norelco calls "a pivotal scene" near the beginning of the film, when Bond needs a quick shave. "We're just elated having the likes of James Bond or Pierce Brosnan ... using an electric razor," she said. "We're really hoping it will help the category [appear] much more innovative, much more high-tech. " As category leader, Norelco stands to benefit even with viewers who don't catch the brand name.

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"The ads are different from the `Put It To the Test' [campaign] we've done in the past and are about overcoming skepticism," said Nick Wilmot, exec-VP, managing director at D'Arcy, New York. "I think James Bond dovetails nicely on top of that, [positioning Spectra] as the latest innovation."

Norelco also has tied in a U.S. sweepstakes, Internet ads, a viral e-mail campaign and an offer for a free DVD featuring scenes from the first 19 Bond films and making of the 20th. Bond's appeal is proving a draw for retailers, too, Ms. Riley said, noting numerous in-store promotions, including at Best Buy, with a customized Norelco-Bond sweepstakes.

The Norelco campaign is part of a global effort by Amsterdam-based Philips, which is doing Bond-centric razor campaigns in the U.S. (using the Norelco Spectra brand) and Europe and Asia (as Philips' Sensortec).

The stakes for Norelco are nearly as high as a Bond cliffhanger, since 40% of electric-razor sales come in the last five weeks of the year. Norelco is pouring the bulk of its 2002 marketing budget into Bond and Spectra. Ms. Riley wouldn't comment on spending, but said it would be at "leadership levels."

Norelco spent $30 million in measured media last year on electric razors, about what rivals Remington and Gillette Co.'s Braun spent combined, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

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