Just call me Brand, James Brand – how to tell your story

Front view of the Lotus Evija

With the long awaited James Bond film No Time To Die debuting globally on 8 October, it’s no longer a guessing game as to which luxury products are marques – they all are! And why? Because product placement in a ‘guaranteed success’ blockbuster is a no risk ROI strategy.

Beyond crazy 

For me, the craziness of embedded marketing in the more recent James Bond movies hits a raw nerve. Take Spectre, released in 2015 and starring Daniel Craig as an example.

Aston Martin DB10 Credit: MAD4WHEELS

Director Sam Mendes commissioned Aston Martin to create ‘the’ car. It was reported that 10 bespoke DB10s were made, seven of which were blown up – that’s 24 million pounds worth of cars – in the film, which cost 200 million pounds to make. 

In today’s world – well any world – I find this ethically wrong on so many levels. James Bond has now become James Brand, one hugely expensive, multi generational and demographical product advertisement.

Roger Moore filming ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ in Sardinia Credit: Group Lotus

How to tell your success story

But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about how to continue telling a success story. One that emanated from the ‘less crazy’ brand equity monitizing times, was 007’s 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me

From this legendary film came the rise of the Lotus through a clever idea by its PR exec Don McLauchlan. He had been alerted to the fact that Bond producers were searching for a car that could also become a submarine.

Cleverly, Don took a red reproduction Esprit to Pinewood Studios and parked it where senior management and others would have to walk past it. During the day he moved the Esprit around the site to ensure maximum impact. It did the trick, an Esprit S1 was selected, although in white:

“To look stunning in the bright Mediterranean sunshine and underwater.” 

Esprit S1 emerging from the sea during the filming of ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ Credit: Group Lotus

and the rest as they say… is history.

How to reuse your success story
– no matter how long it takes!

Esprit SI and Evija Credit: MAD4WHEELS

Exactly 43 years later to the day, Lotus released the first images of its British all-electric hypercar, Evija [this page takes 30 seconds to appear]. They used the Esprit S1 specification – white with a tartan interior – to mark the occasion citing:

“It’s a small nod of appreciation for one of the most famous cars in film history.” 

Front view of the Lotus Evija
Lotus Evija: Credit MAD4WHEELS

Lotus recently won Product Design of the Year in the International Design Awards, both celebrating and prolonging the story by releasing a set of new images of the Lotus Evija, this time in yellow.

The car is now available in other colour ways of course. Just off to order mine now with maybe a slight nod to product placement!

You can read more about the Lotus’ story here.

How to stay in control of your online visual campaign

Image of International Women's Day poster

International Women’s Day is an excellent example of how organisations control their visual online message when promoting awareness campaigns.

Each year, International Women’s Day campaigns encourage women around the World to showcase and celebrate their success stories, while simultaneously highlighting the work that still needs to be done to raise awareness of gender equality. 

UN Women poster for International Women's Day 2021

Data from 38 countries around the World confirm that, while men and women have increased their workloads during Covid-19, women greatly outnumber the men in terms of just how much.

A Global Approach

IWD.com’s ‘Global – Local – Everywhere’ mantra means that the message needs to cross language and culture barriers; this begins with an appropriate brand palette. The UK’s first IWD took place in 1911, with their choice of primary colours already established by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1908. 

Any one colour can in itself represent a powerful visual message to its audience. This will differ widely depending on personal perspective, so an explanation as to why colourways were selected – and told as part of a story – will alleviate any misconceptions. IDW.com gives clarity to their primary palette:

Purple: justice and dignity

Green: hope

White: purity (IWD.com understand this is controversial today and needs addressing)

Staying On Message

IWD.com’s message is simple – although complex in its delivery – and addresses:

“Women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, plus a call for gender equality.”

Each year countries around the World chose their individual theme. The UK’s 2021 topic:

“Choose To Challenge” – A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. 

IOD template for Facebook

The Key to Control

IWD.com has ensured that everyone engages and shares on-brand, by creating templates using their official campaign colour purple, along with specifically designed social frameworks. These are then offered as easily accessible, free downloads on their website. However, it’s interesting to note that permission is required to use their logo. This is highly recommended for any brand. It’s imperative that third party brands sitting juxtaposition with yours are aligned with your values.

The hashtag

The global hashtags #internationalwomensday and #IWD2021 is used in unison with IWD.com’s specific campaign hashtag #choosetochallenge. Each organisation selects its own hashtag – the UN uses #generationequality for example – but whichever personal hashtag is used, these are paired with the global ones, shared by all thereby making their message easily re-sharable.

So the key is simple…

Number One: Create your on-brand social templates

Image displays IWD's full range of social media templates

Number Two: Promote as freely available giving clear guidance & instructions

Image of Tweet sharing IWD Zoom background template

Number Three: Have fun engaging with your campaign countdown

Images of IWD's Twitter countdown promotions

Number Four: Share everyone’s stories

Images of some of the stories shared by IWD on social media

Header image credit: IWD.com