Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hold the Cliche'

It is difficult to discuss the James Bond franchise without falling into the trap of going for the cliches associated with the movies. Fast Company magazine has an article online about the new Casino Royale movie which sadly did not use the Herb Albert music form the dreadful 1967 (IMDB page) version featuring David Nivens, Peter Sellers, and a very young Woody Allen (trailer). I frankly have never been able to sit through the movie and over the years have only seen bit here and there but enough to see that it is overall a trainwreck.

As powerful as the Bond brand is today it was in the 1960's a cultural phenomena. How big? The movies led to television show such as: Get Smart, I Spy, The Man form Uncle, The Girl from Uncle, and Secret Squirrel (cartoon). The Matt Helm movies with Dean Martins where a rip off of the Bond movies but out of context from the 1960's it is difficult to evaluate their position in the market. The other spin offs were toys like the Topper Toys Secret Sam Attache case which I think I got for Christmas in 1967. The National Brewing Co. even got into the act with 007 Special Blends (beer) that needed more time in the legal department.

Bond like other brands evolved over the years changing with the times. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the end of the Cold War which provided context the original Ian Fleming books and the movies. The movie is like a relaunch of the brand and a worldwide $215 million (as of 11/28/06) had been successful.