License to Advertise: Belvedere & Heineken

Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, hit movie screens in the UK on Monday 26th October, quickly going on to create history by breaking box office records and banking over £41 million in the UK in the first week of release. Estimated to be one of the most expensive films ever made, Spectre is on course to eclipse Skyfall as the UK’s highest grossing movie of all time.
As brands continue to get more and more creative in advertising, association with major film productions continues to be a key asset for many – and as we know, James Bond has always been very brand-friendly…
In this analysis, we look at two major 007 commercial partners, Belvedere & Heineken, who created customised content and products in advance of the movie release – notably not just going down the product placement route.

Belvedere, the official drink of James Bond 24, aimed to capitalise on the 007 partnership as much as possible – their connection including product placement in the film and the release of an advert starring Stephanie Sigman, the latest bond girl. In addition, Belvedere also launched special and limited edition 007 Spectre bottles, with private screenings and events hosted around the world.
Belvedere president Charles Gibb hoped that the marketing deal with 007 would create a firm association for the Polish vodka and James Bond – providing the brand with its largest ever quarter of sales, increasing brand awareness and creating an unprecedented boost in global reach that wouldn’t have been possible to achieve as easily without a collaboration.
Below we can see the spread of conversation around the Excellent Choice, Mr Bond advert and launch of limited edition 007 bottles – gauging sentiment with mentions of the advert, bottles, events and selling of the vodka. This analysis measures conversation from the advert launch date (9th September) to 7 days into the movie’s release (2nd November).
The analysis shows that the top themes were mentions of Spectre Belvedere Vodka at an event or party (21%), encouraging people to drink/purchase Belvedere (18%), or general mentions of the advert (17%) – which includes news shares and encouragement to watch the advert. While we cannot prove that there is a direct link between sentiment on social media and Belvedere’s revenue ambitions, insights on social media can help quantify the role conversation has played in building brand awareness.
Belvedere’s 007 sponsorship was built on a platform designed to associate the brand with James Bond’s cool, stylish and refined persona – and through the 6,772 relevant posts captured on social media we are able to determine various levels of positive engagement with the Spectre affiliation. Combining the Desire to Consume/Purchase, Belvedere at an Event/Party, Available to Buy/In Stock Here and Come Try/Treat Yourself categories amounts to 62% of conversation, highlighting positive and proactive mentions of Belvedere from an ROI point of view.
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What’s next for Belvedere?

Although Belvedere will now timelessly feature in Spectre, the film will soon be taken off listings to make way for the next box office blockbuster. However, continuing to capitalise on the significant capabilities of social insights allows Belvedere to harness their 007 partnership further, creating a blueprint for future campaigns and strategies.

In the following analysis, we compare the interests of those that mention both Belvedere and Spectre to those that have mentioned Spectre/James Bond/007 generically.

The Affinities tool gauges an author’s activity on twitter – including the content they post and who they follow – mapping the interests that resonate most with those engaging in a certain topic. In this illustration, the further the interest appears to the ends of the arrows, the stronger the interest is to the relative topic of conversation – which in this case are Belvedere mentions in relation to Spectre or general mentions of Spectre/James Bond/007. The larger the circle, the larger the number of people there are connected to that particular interest. For instance, cooking as an interest is more strongly indexed to Belvedere/Spectre conversation than Fashion, but there is a larger audience segment talking about the latter.

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Building an understanding of a target audience using the Affinities feature allows brands to angle their social media ventures to content and material that is likely to resonate with a particular group.

For example, the interest of Wine is 9 times more prevalent in conversation around Belvedere & Spectre than general Spectre conversation, and unsurprisingly, alongside other interests such as Golf, Vogue & Haute Couture, luxury interests index strongly to the left of the diagram. Beyond simple strategic methods such as including these interests in SEO keyword fields, delving deeper into a particular interest using the Crimson Hexagon platform allows users to understand more, harnessing the tool to increase reach and engagement by exploiting aspects of the interest such as major influencers and most commonly used hashtags.

Top line summary of Wine interest segment:

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Further utilising the Affinities feature to highlight the shared (central) interests and interests indexed towards general Spectre conversation would allow Belvedere to tap further into an unreached target audience that would be likely to engage with the brand. As previously outlined, president Charles Gibb highlighted that the Belvedere partnership with James Bond was designed to associate with 007’s class, and so tapping into the general Spectre audience and their interests, strategising social media efforts more effectively, would allow the brand to take their partnership further beyond the ad and film.

Heineken, an official James Bond commercial partner since Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997, launched their action sequence that sees Daniel Craig, as Bond, inadvertently pull a young woman in tow when setting off in a high speed boat chase. Going on to carry a tray of Heineken beer, the female character subsequently saves Bond, as Heineken aim to reach the “modern progressive male” in their 18th year of James Bond sponsorship.
Alongside the ad, Heineken also launched half a billion 007 branded bottles – giving buyers the opportunity to scan a code on the packaging using a smartphone, allowing them to access exclusive behind-the-scenes Spectre footage.
Once again, by looking at social data, we are able to measure the levels of conversation in relation to this edition of Heineken’s James Bond affiliation. The illustration below measures conversation from the advert launch date (21st September) to 7 days into the movie’s release (2nd November).
In this analysis a fairly even spread of conversation can be exhibited, but most notably that an accumulation of mentions around a desire to purchase Heineken, whether stating that the beer itself is being consumed, liking the limited edition aspect, or bought in order to access behind-the-scenes footage, accounts for over a quarter of conversation when analysing the 12,530 relevant posts on social media.
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Once again, although social insights do not provide a definitive correlation to increased revenue, quantifying sentiment around a brand and/or campaign from true and raw conversation on social media allows for teams across organisations to benchmark opinion, measuring performance and strategising for the future. A desire to purchase or consume Heineken, alongside general positivity around the advert featuring James Bond himself, is likely to have built brand awareness and strengthened Heineken’s relationship with existing customers and James Bond fans.
The most frequently mentioned hashtags in posts indicate that #Heineken was mentioned almost exactly as many times as #Spectre – highlighting the strong link built between the brand and film.
Finally – how do the Belvedere & Heineken adverts, leveraging a new movie release, compare to general mentions on social media of product placement in films?
In the following analysis we categorise opinion concerning a brand’s visibility in a movie, measuring posts across a wide date range, from 1st January 2012 to a week into the release of Spectre (2nd November).
As displayed, the majority of conversation (61%) is negative – with filmgoers displaying general discontent at a brand’s involvement in a movie, portraying that their involvement is shameful, or even going as far to say that it has ruined the film for them.
So have both Belvedere and Heineken got it right by creating customised content in partnership with a major movie release, putting on events and customising their products, rather than merely placing their product in the film? Both brands generated high levels of conversation related to their products events, as well as a clear positivity towards the adverts featuring Stephanie Sigman and Daniel Craig respectively.
Quantifying social media conversation in this analysis has allowed us to highlight the apparent success in both brand’s partnerships, providing insights that compare against generic mentions of conventional product placement and highlighting just one of many ways that campaigns can be further harnessed using Crimson Hexagon.

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