Last week, the latest entry to the 007 movie series, Skyfall, premiered in U.S. theaters. The film marks actor Daniel Craig’s third appearance as James Bond since his debut in 2006’s Casino Royale.
Recently, it was announced that Craig has signed on to do at least two more Bond films, suggesting the most latest man with the License to Kill has become popular with fans of the franchise. Nevertheless, Craig is the sixth man to call himself Bond, James Bond on screen; his predecessors include Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby and Roger Moore. Craig’s Bond has been well-received so far, but Crimson Hexagon wanted to know, who’s the best Bond?
We used Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ social listening platform to take a look at the Twitter and Facebook conversation about all past and present Bond actors in both the United Kingdom and the U.S. over the past year.
In both countries, Craig dominated the conversation over his fellow Bond actors, garnering 62% of the conversation in the U.K. and 66% in the U.S. This could be expected, considering Craig is the current 007 and that Skyfall came out this year.
UK Social Listening Results on Daniel Craig
US Social Listening Results on Daniel Craig
But what is surprising about these data are the significant differences between the U.K. and U.S. conversations about Craig’s take on Bond. On the other side of the pond, the sentiment around Craig’s version of the spy is overwhelmingly positive; 56% of the entire conversation about the actors who have portrayed Bond thought Craig was a great fit for the role, while only 6% of that conversation believed he was a poor James Bond. In the U.S., however, opinions were much more divided.
On this side of the pond, 35% of the conversation about actors who have played James Bond on camera thought Craig suits the role well, but another 31% disagreed. Here, ForSight reveals that although Craig enjoyed a similar share of volume of conversation on Twitter in the U.K. as he did in the U.S., opinions were far more polarized here than they were in Great Britain.
But as we know, Craig isn’t the only Bond.
What were the opinions in the U.K. and U.S. about the other 007s? Since Craig dominated the conversation this past year, we removed relevant conversations about the actor from the ForSight analysis to reveal the conversation’s nuances in opinions regarding the other Bond actors.
UK Social Listening Analysis of James Bond
Netting the positive and negative shares of the conversation for each actor, sans Daniel Craig, ForSight™ indicates that U.K. opinions favor Pierce Brosnan, with 23% of the conversation claiming “Brosnan was a great Bond” and only 3% claiming the contrary. Meanwhile, the Craig-less conversation in the U.S. favors the original on-screen 007, Sean Connery; 30% of the conversation favors his version of Bond, while 10% thought it wasn’t the best.
The ForSight platform also revealed several other interesting subtleties in this conversation. For example, U.K. consumers, in general, seem much less polarized about Bond actors than their US counterparts. In general, we find larger disparities between the positive and negative opinions about a particular actor in the UK than we do in the U.S. About two actors, however, audiences from both countries agree: George Lazenby was a poor Bond and Roger Moore draws polarized opinions on both sides of the Atlantic.Why is Craig so popular as Bond in the U.K. but so polarizing in the U.S.? Is it his charisma? His darkness? His resemblance to Ian Fleming’s literary version on the character? Looking at fans’ unsolicited opinions about their favorite actors, with insights from Crimson’s ForSight social listening platform, studios can leverage social media analysis to inform major casting and advertising decisions.