Some thoughts about U.S. Bond marketing

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

With No Time to Die’s theatrical run completed, is it time for the marketing of James Bond films to be updated, at least in the U.S.?

Since 1997, the series made by Eon Productions has taken this approach: Our early movies had flaws, especially where women are concerned. But our new movies are wonderful! Various actresses playing Bond women talk about how their characters are different. (CLICK HERE for an example from 2021.)

Yes, in the early movies, there were questionable moments by modern standards. But why draw attention to that?

Yet, that’s what Eon has done. With No Time to Die, Eon’s marketing push has emphasized the #MeToo movement. Lashana Lynch talked about the notion of tampons. Director Cary Fukunaga referred to the Sean Connery version of Bond as a rapist. Is this how you really want to sell a movie?

A decade ago, Eon boss Barbara Broccoli dismissed some Bond women characters as being inferior.

“Fortunately, the days of Bond girls standing around with a clipboard are over,” Broccoli said in a 2012 interview with the London Evening Standard.

If Eon were a car company (say Ford Motor Co.), it’d be like saying dwelling on the shortcomings of an Edsel or a Pinto while saying today’s vehicles are much better.

Eon’s Michael G. Wilson said in 2015 said the production company designs the marketing campaigns and that studios just carry it out.

Still, things didn’t work out in the U.S. as well as it could have. No Time to Die was No. 2 globally in 2021 (excluding Chinese-made movies) but only No. 7 in the U.S.

For whatever reason, No Time to Die’s marketing didn’t connect in the U.S. the way it has in the rest of the world.

Is it time to change up the marketing push for Bond in the U.S.? It’s a fair question.