The top 10 weird Bond tie-ups that time forgot

Bond: weird tie ups
Bond: weird tie ups

With so many brands cashing in on Skyfall's release on 24 October, we handpicked our favourite wonky Bond tie-ups of the past 50 years

Dom Perignon, Rolex, Aston Martin and Walther PPK are all brands that have become intrinsically linked to James Bond, ever since Ian Fleming’s creation first graced the silver screen in the 1960s.

Bond, whose 50 years on film are currently being celebrated ahead of this month’s release of Skyfall, is not only the world’s best-known secret agent, but a franchise that has become synonymous with, and arguably kick-started, the concept of brand and product placement.

But while the tone set by vintage champagnes, luxury watches and British sports cars shares a certain resonance with 007, at the other end of the scale there are those brands whose associations with the franchise are jarring. 

Here we list some of the clunkiest James Bond brand associations you may have forgotten:

1 Red Stripe

While many Bond purists are up in arms over news that Daniel Craig will order a Heineken instead of a martini in Skyfall, beer has been cast repeatedly in supporting roles in Bond movies - although admittedly until now has not been drunk by Bond. Nevertheless, Red Stripe has the accolade of becoming the first lager to appear in a Bond movie, appearing in the first-ever Bond film Dr No in 1962. Bond is seen fighting over it (literally, not in a plot sense of course), punching character Quarrell into a pile of Red Stripe boxes in a bar in Jamaica.


In the days before Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC, the fast-food brand appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger. In the film’s climax, FBI agents stakeout Fort Knox from a KFC. Goldfinger-lickin' good.

3 BP

For oil giant BP, it was a blink-and-you-might-miss-it appearance in A View to a Kill, in a scene in which Bond accomplice, played by Avengers actor Patrick Macnee, is assassinated at a car wash at a BP service station.

4 Renault

View to a Kill has several scenes played out in France, so it’s perhaps little surprise that Renault cars makes a number of appearances. But the standout has to be a car chase in which Roger Moore (or rather a doesn’t-lookalike stunt double) hijacks a Renault taxi and repeatedly crashes it until he’s left driving just the front third of the car.

5 Unigate

Unigate Milk might be better remembered for its 70s-coined advertising slogan "Watch out, there’s a Humphrey about", but the brand’s sexiest, if rather misplaced, marketing coup was a placement in The Living Daylights. A KGB agent disguised as a Unigate milkman pulls up at a mansion house in Unigate-branded milk-float and flings bombs disguised as milk bottles at goodie agents.

6 Lark Cigarettes

Anyone remember Lark Cigarettes? Nope. They were a Philip Morris brand that was smoked by Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill, with a pack even doubling as a gadget in one scene. The brand’s rather crass placement sounded a death-knell for tobacco promotions in films when it provoked calls to ban fag placement in films. Licence to Kill was also the first Bond film to feature a Surgeon General’s tobacco warning in the closing credits.

7 Avis

In Tomorrow Never Dies, Avis does not merely get an on-screen nod, but has gadget aficionado Q intercepting Pierce Brosnan’s Bond at an airport, disguised as an Avis employee, replete in red blazer and red tie and wielding a red clipboard.

8 Mondeo

Ford can be forgiven for allowing some of its cars to appear in Bond films, most notably for letting its hip muscle-car Mustang roar its engines and screech its tyres in Diamonds are Forever. But Ford, nor Bond’s producers for that matter, cannot be forgiven for letting Bond drive a Mondeo in Casino Royale, a car that even travelling salesmen find a bit dull.

9 Avon

Rather tenuous this, but door-to-door cosmetics brand Avon may have appeared in Quantum of Solace. Actress Gemma Arterton heavily endorsed the firm’s Bond Girl 007 line of women’s fragrance and could have been wearing it in the film.

10 Omega

However, if there were an award for crassest product placement, it goes to watch brand and apparent Rolex wannabe Omega. In an exchange between Craig’s 007 and Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, the following exchange takes place:

Lynd is seen admiring Bond’s watch, clearly mistaking his timepiece for a more expensive brand.

"Rolex?" she asks.

"Omega," answers Bond.

"Beautiful," says Lynd.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral