The launch of a new film, like most major sporting events, provides a fantastic opportunity for sponsorship and endorsement, and drink brands have a long tradition of getting involved in this particular field.
The choice of film or event is obviously extremely important, with companies keen to ensure that their brands benefit from their association and that their image is reinforced.
The latest film/drinks tie-in will come in November with the release of the latest Bond film, Die Another Die. Renowned for his vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred, of course), the James Bond character, or the actors who have played the role, have been used to promote a number of products over the 40 years that the franchise has been running, including Champagne brands such as Bollinger.
The latest product to get the Bond endorsement is Finlandia vodka, the Finnish brand which is part of the Brown-Forman stable along with Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort. While Smirnoff has been Bond's preferred vodka brand in recent films (featuring prominently in Tomorrow Never Dies, for example), the setting of much of the latest film - an ice palace - is an ideal compliment for the Nordic vodka brand, which is made using natural spring water created by Ice Age deposits.
"This is a great opportunity for Finlandia vodka. James Bond is only associated with the best things in life: the best cars, the best women, and the best vodka," said Scott Reid, vice president and global marketing director for Finlandia Vodka Worldwide, a joint venture between Brown-Forman and Finland's Altia group. "No other man exemplifies the essence of style more than the suave, daring agent 007, and no other vodka but Finlandia could represent the sophistication and poise of such a world-class hero."
As well as featuring in the film itself, Finlandia will run a number of promotional events linked to the film, which is due to be launched on 22 November. Finlandia is currently the second largest premium imported vodka in the world, and comes in three variants - standard, cranberry and lime.
Whether or not we see Bond drinking a Finlandia vodka in the film, it is unlikely that he will be mixing it with 7 UP, but the soft drink brand will also be sponsoring Die Another Die. The company, part of the UK's Cadbury Schweppes group, will be featuring an Agent 007 UP promotion on its packs, offering one lucky prize winner the chance to embark on a secret mission to London and capture a $25,000 bank account.
The promotion, which will run in November and December in the US, will connect 7 UP with the British spy, who is particularly popular with the same core target audience as the drink - 12- to 24-year-olds.
"James Bond is one of the most widely recognised franchises in the United States, especially with the 7 UP target audience, in that nearly 94 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds have seen a James Bond movie," said Kelli Freeman, director of brand marketing for 7 UP. "Partnering with the Bond movie allows us to offer our consumers the unique chance to spend the day in the life of their favourite spy."
In addition to the star prize, consumers will also have the chance to win Agent 007 UP gadget packets that include a pack of seven special edition James Bond films, a set of three die-cast replicas of cars featured in Die Another Day and a portable DVD player.
Consumers can enter the sweepstakes by looking for an entry form on specially marked 12-packs and 2-litre bottles of 7 UP, Diet 7 UP and Cherry 7 UP. In addition, consumers will have the opportunity to win autographed Die Another Day movie posters by visiting the 7 UP website at www.7up.com.
The promotion will be supported with special point-of-sale materials which will feature a silhouette image of James Bond and the Die Another Day logo. 7 UP will also release special edition 12-ounce cans with silhouette James Bond images.