The 26th of October 2012 represented the release of the latest instalment in the James Bond movie franchise, Skyfall. The film took £53.44 million is its first ten days (Gant, 2012), before becoming the UK’s highest grossing movie ever, taking £93.76 million by the 5th of December 2012 (25th Frame, 2012). This success is a direct result of the James Bond brand, as it has been meticulously constructed during its previous fifty years. Such a well establish brand inherently provides opportunities for marketers, as an affiliation with the Bond franchise offers the potential access to a loyal and established fan base spanning multiple generations, whilst translating many of the key Bond brand values to their own. As a result, following their ‘Zero Zero Seven’ campaign in conjunction with the 2008 release of the previous Bond film, Quantum of Solace, Coke Zero has continued its commercial partnership with the Bond franchise, launching a campaign under the tag line ‘Unlock The 007 In You’, to tie in with the release of Skyfall. The campaign provokes a number of pertinent issues in regards to the communication environment and the subsequent effect it has on the relationship between author and reader, as the marriage of two global brands presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges for Coke Zero. Furthermore, the campaign illustrates the importance of commercial media businesses to marketing communications, and provides an insight into the ethical practice of the industry, the importance of integrated media communications and advertising effectiveness.
The communications environment is a broad term that relates to the intricate context in which a message, or text, is communicated from one party to another. Clearly the media produced to promote Coke Zero signifies the text to communicate the message encoded by the author, one of the creative agencies utilised for the respective media channel, and the subsequent decoding by the reader or consumer. The importance of the communications environment cannot be negated as factors such as social and cultural contexts, personal history and experiences of the reader and editorial content may all influence the meaning of the text, as intended or not by the author. By nature a number of these factors cannot be determined by marketers, however those that can must be manipulated to create an environment in which the relevant message can be transmitted as clearly as possible. And this is the opportunity that working with the James Bond franchise presented Coke Zero, as the connotations and inferences associated with Bond provide a context for the message to be delivered.
Intertextuality suggests that the meaning gained from one text is determined by other texts. More specifically, a text is placed in a context of language and knowledge from socially, culturally and historically situated experiences (Proctor et al., 2002). This concept of intertextuality is the foundation on which Coke Zero’s message is based, as consumers are encouraged to ‘Unlock The 007 In You’, with Bond’s stature as a global cultural icon providing a context. The twenty-two preceding films, in conjunction with the James Bond brand, creates a hyper reality of danger, women and vodka martinis, making the actuality of reality appear mundane and lacking. The partnership means that this hyper reality is associated with the Coke Zero brand, with the implication that drinking Coke Zero can help the consumer achieve the reality so frequently desired in the films. Furthermore, the repetition and development of Bond as a character helps to reinforce the idealised hyper reality, making the world of Bond clearer and more succinct in the mind of the consumer (Procter et al., 2002). The idea of intertextuality is continued, as Coke Zero’s relationship with the franchise carries weight from previous Bond partnerships. Companies such as Omega and Aston Martin, which is now almost synonymous with Bond, create an atmosphere of...
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