Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bond Misses Target

The new Heineken Casino Royale ad is not good. That much is obvious. But I thought it might be interesting to analyse exactly who muffed up here. Was it the client? The director? The creative team? The account team?

For me, the client has done a good job. He has briefed the agency to link his brand to an appropriate property. James Bond is global, suave and premium. Just like Heineken should be.

The account team too have done a good job. They have delivered an ad that delivers this link. The branding is clear, relevant, and not overpowering.

The creative team can't be blamed either. The script idea is sound. James Bond's girlfriend worries that a waiter delivering a Heinken to their room has in fact come to kill the celebrated British agent, so she decks the unfortunate minion... who in fact turns out to be completely innocent.

No, the guilty party here is the director. First off, he fails to establish that the woman is Bond's girlfriend. (He could have done this by showing them in bed together at the beginning, for example.) As a result, the viewer has no idea that she wants to protect Bond. For all we know, she could be wanting to kill him herself.

Then he fails to establish the misdirect that the waiter plans to kill Bond. Yes, the receptionist and the waiter are a little bit sinister, but there's not nearly enough false information to genuinely make the viewer suspicious of them. If anything, the viewer is just mystified as to why the girl is so worried.

Finally, he bungles the end gag. The part where she takes out the waiter is well handled. But then surely there should have been a reaction shot from the girl, a 'whoops' moment, where she realises she's just knocked an innocent man unconscious. Without that, the ending is flat, and phoney.

So in summary it's not the client, account team, or creatives who get the turkey sandwiches, but the director, Stephen Gaghan.

(Actually, this isn't his first over-confused strip of celluloid. Anyone seen Syriana?)


Anonymous said...

Gosh that was a bit bland. For all the reasons that you pointed out.

Anonymous said...

I expected her to end with “Oh James, you scoundrel.”

Front desk guy looked extremely suspicious. Way too long imo to bring James into it also. The series is called ‘James Bond’ for a reason, not ‘James Bond’s Girlfriend’.

And that beer is SO erupting if it just fell on the floor like that.

As for Syriana, two things:

1) The willingnes of Damon to stay with the company even after suffering a personal tragedy.

2) How Clooney‘s character was seemingly cut loose even though he sure looked like a valuable asset on the side of the US.

Anonymous said...

Russell ... Scamp ... you can find 'love resolution' by simply clicking on the link below - a site created especially for you:


Northern Planner said...

That's the most useful post in ages - it's not often you see some proper observations on working with directors. First TV I was involved in, no onetold me to never ask the director anything on set, but go through the producer. Banned me from the whole shoot.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that recent Bond films are the longest and best ads ever made.

Any brand attempting to borrow Bond equity for an ad, rather than getting actual product placement in the film, is just lame-o.

It's like [insert analogy involving someone missing out on something and trying to make up for it by replicating the something not very well somewhere else].

Willoughby said...

OUCH that's a big opportunity missed. Not even sure I agree the twatting was done very well.

But you can see why they chose Stephen to direct it... the ad was on his reel. It has to parody a movie, so let's get a movie director...