Saturday, 7 April 2012


So Daniel Craig, as James Bond, is going to be swigging a beer in his next movie and not his trade-mark Martini. Heineken has already thought of it as the best thing that has happened to them since they started brewing the bubbly in 1873. I am reminded of the time when a corporate honcho sought an audience with the Pope and Pope was visibly disturbed and screamed "Noooooo". All that the corporate boss wanted the Pope to do was to change just one word in the prayer; instead of 'Give us this day our daily bread', he had suggested, "Give us this day our daily Kellogg's"

Whatever way you look at it, Martini suited the Licensed to Kill eminently especially with his bevy of beauties. Great many jokes, limericks and ditties came up about the cocktail of gin and vermouth that James Bond sipped whilst lounging on a beach with danger lurking not far from him. One of these is:

Martinis, my girl, are deceptive,
Have two at the most;
Three, you are under the table,
Four, you are under the host.

I think it was Noel Coward who said, "The best way to make Martini is to have gin in a glass and then wave it in the general direction of Italy." That's the reach of advertising; you find the ads everywhere asking you to do this, wear that, eat this, drive that and so on.  You are swayed a little. However, nothing sways you with the same force as when a celebrity endorses it. When Kapil Dev told us, "Palmolive da jawab nahin" (There is nothing like (shaving with) Palmolive), a vast number of men got convinced that it would not only give them a good shave but also may help them to become cricketing all-rounders amongst the best in the world.

Opinions would be divided whether a beer drinking Bond would appear as svelte as he appears nursing a glass of Martini. After all, beer is more associated with a belly than with belles; burp more than with melody. However, chances are that beer drinking may get associated with laissez faire after Bond has sipped it and about to throw the can away and sees in the can the reflection of an attacker getting ready to attack him from behind.

Other than Bond with his Martini, the world of advertisement is nostalgic about ads about smoking. How coolly the hero used to take the last puffs of a cigarette, stub it out with his white shoes and then only turn to the pack of ruffians waiting to be thrammed by him. Ah, the promise of Marlboro country where men would be men and horses would be horses. Or the guy who would effortlessly win a sailing regatta and the first thing that he would do after that would be to puff at his Scissors, with his sexy dame on his side, and the voice over would say, "For men of action - satisfaction."

Cold drinks or soft-drinks are the hot - nay, cold favourites of the ad-makers; nothing has changed from the time a young Rekha sensuously sipped on her Gold Spot and suggestively crooned, "Taazgi ka maza lijiye, pyaas apni bujha lijiye." (Enjoy the taste of freshness; quench your thirst); and, all of us watching the a mango juice drop, in slow motion, seductively falling on Katrina Kaif's lips. "What good luck has a drop of yellow juice, as compared to us, who only watch those succulent lips from a distance", thousands of men bemoaned .

Ads on detergents too have been the kind that do everything except deter gents; ladies' views are reserved on this since they are often shown to be using the soaps for bringing back the whiteness in the clothes, whilst wiping the sweat on their brows. One can think of Surf Excel, or a numbered detergent like 501, but the ad campaign that took India by storm was, without doubt, that of Nirma Washing Powder. It became iconic and decisively showed what ads can do to the popularity and hence, sales of products:

Other than sensuousness, and coolness, humour in ads has been a great sell. The funnier the ad, the more people see it and like it. I remember the time when Coca Cola was selected as "Official sponsor" of the Cricket ODI World Cup, Pepsi came up with a highly successful, imaginative and comical ad, "Nothing 'official' about it."

So, now that Bond has to 'Officially' drink beer, perhaps the day is not far, when Bond, like our own action hero Akshay Kumar, will do anything to 'Taste the Thunder'. Bye bye, Martini.


  1. Bond and Beer - what a comedown! Soon he'll be sipping milk!

    1. Ha, ha; Infant Bond may just make himself more famous!


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