I know that many more important things are happening.
But I have to say, I’m shaken by the news that James Bond will be drinking a Heineken in the next film.
Product placement has some limits, and I thought we’d all agreed they stop several yards before the iconic preferences of iconic characters.
I don’t care what Bond drives. I don’t care who tailors his suits or what kind of processor powers his latest gadgetry.
But I draw the line at the drinks.
It’s not that I have anything against beer. To the contrary, I stand with the adage that Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.
But James Bond drinks martinis.
So what if Bond walks and talks like a 1 percenter? He earned it, after what he did to all those men with laser sharks.
He has the right to drink whatever he likes.
But watching him drink something that I might order on special feels wrong. He’s an iconic character in a fantasy world, not some guy elbowing you at the bar. And how can you customize a beer order? Shake one, and it explodes. And Chilled, not tepid, doesn’t have the same ring.
If product placers are allowed to have their way with James Bond, who knows where they’ll go next? The Dude might eschew White Russians for vodka tonics. Carrie and the girls might stop swilling Cosmos. Indiana Jones could ditch the fedora for a baseball cap. Lady Macbeth might start using Purell. Forrest Gump could go around telling people that life is like a box of Cheez-Its.
Also, what does Heineken think it’s accomplishing? Before, they were That Beer in Green Bottles That Tastes Pretty Okay. Now, they’re That Horrid Company That Got Between James Bond and His Martini. Does it not realize that if you want to sell the public on someone, you don’t introduce her as a homewrecker?
Iconic characters remain iconic only so long as they retain their larger-than-life attributes. That keeps them recognizable. The accessories are as legendary as the characters themselves. Take away his martini, and James Bond is just Jason Bourne with better recollection, more constrictive apparel and a longer history of bad relationship choices.
Place that product somewhere else, please.