At issue: how to use footage from the film in creative ways, and how to employ a movie's actor or characters in an original concept. BMW of North America, attached to "Tomorrow Never Dies," has succeeded at the former; Burger King Corp., linked to "Anastasia," and Visa USA, matched with Bond, have earned notice for the latter.
With "Anastasia," Fox is trying to break into the lucrative feature animation business dominated by Walt Disney Co. With its latest Bond film, MGM/UA is trying to sustain one of its few franchises.
For "Tomorrow Never Dies," said BMW VP-Marketing Jim McDowell, the marketer wanted to move away from the usual approach of cutting back and forth between ad creative and movie footage only loosely related.
So Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, integrated footage of Bond eluding a rocket into a story involving a slumbering security guard. Other spots purge agency creative altogether, like one that lifts an entire scene in which Bond test-drives a BMW via remote control.
Visa got Bond actor Pierce Brosnan to appear as the character in a spot produced by BBDO Worldwide, New York. Getting Mr. Brosnan to pitch as Bond reportedly cost Visa millions. It's also gaining MGM/UA criticism for selling out the secret agent. "Tomorrow Never Dies" opens Dec. 25.
Commercialization hasn't hurt "Anastasia," up to $31 million after two weeks. The star here is the character Bartok, who appears in two spots for Burger King created by Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York. In getting rights to the character and original animation, BK got something from Fox it never got from Disney,