007 Drives an Aston, Wears an Omega, Drinks Finlandia and Shaves With Norelco

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CINCINNATI ( -- MGM Distribution Co.'s pool of James Bond marketing partners seems almost as limitless as the spy's array of high-tech gizmos, and Norelco,
Another close shave for 007.
hoping to tap that gadgetry legacy, is making the upcoming Bond film the centerpiece of an integrated global launch for its Spectra Shaving System.

Fellow content travelers
The Norelco TV spot even nods its head to fellow travelers in the product-placement universe of the 20th Bond film, Die Another Day. The commercial shows 007 driving his Ford Motor Co.-sponsored Aston Martin Vanquish, checking his Omega-sponsored Seamaster watch, and having a sip of his Finlandia-sponsored martini before he experiences his latest close shave with Norelco's Spectra razor.

In the actual movie, 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.

'Just elated'
"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 the category leader, Norelco stands to benefit even with viewers who don't catch the brand name.

TV and cinema ads from

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Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, London, began running Nov. 10 in advance of the Nov. 22 national release of Die Another Day. 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.

Different from last campaign
"The ads are different from the 'put it to the test' [campaign] we've done in the past" that was about overcoming skepticism, said Mark Wilmot, executive vice president and managing director at D'Arcy, New York. He said the Bond tie-in will help position the 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 the making of the 20th. Bond's appeal is proving a draw for retailers, too, including at Best Buy, Ms. Riley said, noting numerous in-store promotions with a customized Norelco-Bond sweepstakes.

Similar Bond-centric campaigns for Spectra are tied to the film's release in Europe and Asia from Norelco's Amsterdam-based parent PhiliShave, where the idea of linking with Bond originated more than a year ago. Norelco is a unit of Royal Philips Electronics.

Global icon
"We were looking for an asset that we could use globally and made sense strategically as well," Ms. Riley said. "James Bond is a global icon. His style and mannerisms are always associated with cutting-edge design, high technology and, lets face it, he really appeals to both men and women." Demographics of Bond fans mirror Norelco buyers, including a roughly 50-50 gender split.

The stakes for Norelco are nearly as high as in 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.

Glut of tie-ins
Ms. Riley isn't worried about potential clutter of an entertainment property whose growing list of marketing tie-ins includes Ford Motor Co.'s Ford and Jaguar, Samsonite Corp., Club Med, British Airways and Revlon.

"With the exception of Revlon, when you walk into a Wal-Mart, you're not going to find a lot of other brands associated with the movie," she said.

The film's title, Die Another Day, is ironic given the impending demise of D'Arcy and the uncertain disposition of the Norelco account -- which, likewise, has been deferred to another day.

"No matter what gets decided," Ms. Riley said, "we're really happy with the team that we have."

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