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The Man with the Golden Franchise: How James Bond Has Remained Relevant for Over 60 Years

Published on October 13, 2021 at 9:35 p.m.
by Amelia McGowan.

Movies are a unique form of media that utilize a mix of publicity and marketing tactics to engage with their key audiences. From trailers to press tours, each tactic not only promotes the latest movies, but also reignites fans’ love for iconic characters. The James Bond franchise is no different.

James Bond 007
Photo by dusan jovic on Unsplash

Since 1962, the character of James Bond has been a staple in the movie industry. With a canon that spans over 60 years, it has become one of the most successful film franchises in history. Through countless villain monologues, cheesy one-liners and nonstop action, the James Bond films have remained relevant with the help of PR tactics worthy of a double-O promotion.

Over the past 60 years, James Bond has lived through 25 movies, seven actors, a production company revamp and several other PR challenges that would be almost impossible for any other franchise to survive — let alone retain a loyal fan base that spans generations. This franchise has been able to keep audiences coming back for more with unique publicity tactics and engagement techniques that not only retain current fans but recruit new ones.

Since Sean Connery first donned the now iconic role in “Dr. No” in 1962, the James Bond films have grossed more than $6.89 billion globally. This level of success wouldn’t have been possible without the stunning publicity and production that accompany every new film’s release. The most recent trailer for the franchise’s newest film, “No Time to Die,” reached 14 million views on YouTube and grossed $56 million on its opening weekend.

This kind of success is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the popularity of the James Bond movies over the years.

Movie Roll
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

At the 85th Academy Awards in 2013, the Academy celebrated 50 years of James Bond with a stunning tribute that included an introduction from former Bond girl Halle Berry, Shirley Bassey’s iconic rendition of “Goldfinger,” Adele’s Oscar-winning theme “Skyfall,” and many other instances that engaged the audience and created a sense of nostalgia for the character and the movies that made him so popular.

Each type of publicity tactic — trailers, press tours, premieres — all contribute to the fan experience and the franchise’s success.

Due to the recent effects of COVID-19, the original release date for “No Time to Die” was pushed back, reinforcing the need for a specialized publicity strategy to keep fans engaged and excited despite the setback. The extended promotional calendar encouraged a more creative approach to marketing and publicity for the film, resulting in even more media coverage and buzz for the film. These creative engagement tactics included a WIRED autocomplete interview with Daniel Craig and Lashana Lynch, appearances on “The Graham Norton Show,” and the film’s long-awaited world premiere in London.

The James Bond movie franchise has evolved into one of the most legendary franchises in pop culture. Because of strategic publicity and marketing tactics, the franchise has fostered both a loyal fan base and a noteworthy portfolio fit for a license to kill.

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