Thursday, February 28, 2013

Casino Royale

Casino Royale (2006): Racing from the Past towards the Future

     The Bond franchise embodies the words, class and mystery. In the current films, starring Daniel Craig, the scenes are full of elegant products worn or used by 007, himself. The film Casino Royale does it part to establish the classic Bond image using high quality products, not only for Bond but also for the other characters and the locations as well. The one thing that most people connect with the Bond franchise is the cars and the quality they add to the movies. Casino Royale is no exception to the usage of classy cars, and the placement of the cars throughout the film effectively draws appeal to the cars as products and the film.
    First, my attention is immediately drawn to the many beautiful cars in the film. The first car that Bond is driving is a Ford Mondeo. Clearly from the beginning of the scene that involves this car, it was pure product placement. We see Bond driving the Mondeo down the highway to his motel in the Bahamas. The Mondeo is just a modern sedan that an everyday businessman would drive. The vibe that the car is giving off in the film is if Bond drives this car and look great doing it, any businessman can too. The driver is not just another person stuck in traffic, but someone who has class and a mystery about them, just like Bond. People will buy just about anything to look cool so logically since Bond drives a Mondeo, anybody who drives a Mondeo will be like Bond. Ford definitely wins with this product placement because Bond’s image elevates the car’s appeal. Now anyone driving a Ford Mondeo can image what it feels like to be 007 driving down the highway.
    Next, Bond wins an Aston Martin DB5 from one of the villains, Alex Dimitrios, in a poker game. Bond fans know that 007 and Aston Martin have a history. In an article on the Aston Martin website, the news section announces the use of Aston Martin again in Casino Royale and references the long relationship, “The association with the marque began in 1964 with the film “Goldfinger” when the DB5 was fitted with “optional extras” such as ejector seats and rockets” (Bond back with Aston 5). The DB5 is an older version of the Aston Martin as it was in Goldfinger in 1964. The connection DB5 and Bond provides a mutual benefit. Aston Martin receives an image that only James Bond can provide, and Casino Royale lets past Bond fans know it’s sticking to the roots of Bond. The image of Bond and Aston Martin together emphasizes the class and power of both. Since the DB5 is an older version, it’s not the main version associated with Bond in this film.
   When 007 arrives at Casino Royale, an Aston Martin DBS is waiting for him. The DBS was released the year after Casino Royale was released in theaters.  A brilliant marketing campaign by Aston Martin was to associate its new product with an old relationship. Using a newer Aston Martin displays, though upgraded, Bond is still the same. Fans of the classic Bond are happy and can appreciate the film’s effort for keeping similar elements. People are drawn to buy the DBS since Bond an old buddy of Aston Martin’s and he upgraded his image with this car. We can now be upgraded to 007 status if we buy the car. It’s logically the only car to own, if you want to appear as refined and mysterious as James Bond. Envy comes into play with this car. Not only do we want to own the car, but we want to be Bond driving the car down the beautiful Montenegro streets. Aston Martin didn’t realize the deal they were getting many years ago by allowing the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 to be in a Bond film. The relationship between the Bond franchise and Aston Martin is mutually successful. Bond gains a car that matches his image and, “the company gains credibility in the bargain” (Lunsford 49). If a 007 trusts his life with this car, then it must be safe for anyone to drive.
   The product placement of the three cars Bond drives was beneficial to the car companies as well as Casino Royale. Someday I would love to own a Aston Martin and be a Bond girl. Move over Moneypenny. I give this movie 2/3 tickets.

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