Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Since 1962, super spy James Bond has thrilled movie audiences worldwide. From the first Bond film, Dr No, fans of the debonair English spy 007 have travelled via big screen to the most exotic locations all over the globe as their hero battled dangerous criminal masterminds.
Bond has won millions of fans, including Heineken, which, for the past 15 years, has partnered with the legendary ladykiller. It's a partnership that has been mutually beneficial to both parties. Heineken first partnered with James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997 - the year they introduced the keg - and went on to have successful partnerships for The World is not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
The partnership has grown as, by 2006, Heineken activated James Bond in 54 markets across five continents. In 2008, US$10.8 million was spent on marketing budgets.
Today, the partners come together again for their latest adventure, as Jamaica celebrates James Bond Day. Jamaicans are being encouraged to wear bow ties to mark the celebration. It was in Jamaica in 1953 that Ian Fleming, the former British spy-turned author, wrote the first of 14 James Bond novels that would later inspire the 50-year-old film series, the latest of which - Skyfall - will be released in November.
Today, James Bond aficionados in Jamaica will officially celebrate the day at the Macau Gaming Lounge and Bar, St Andrew, where Heineken will have specials in the evening for patrons decked out in bow ties. In the lead-up to the world premiere of Skyfall, Heineken will launch an islandwide campaign that will see promotions at a number of bars and supermarkets across the island, where consumers will benefit from special deals and get the chance to win cool Bond prizes.
Those promotions will culminate with the James Bond premiere and after parties on November 6 and 7 in Kingston and Montego Bay. Skyfall debuts islandwide on November 8.
"Global James Bond Day is commemorating 50 years and Jamaica is also celebrating its 50th year of Independence. Therefore, we wanted Jamaicans to celebrate the day with Heineken by incorporating the James Bond bow tie theme while having their favourite drink, of course," Heineken brand manager, Nasha-Monique Douglas, stated. "It's the perfect combination to celebrate the global Bond franchise while acknowledging Jamaica's integral contribution to the franchise as well."