A successful publicity campaign? Sam Mendes ‘Skyfall’

A publicity campaign that I have been very impressed with over the past few months is the campaign for the new Bond film, Skyfall. As a James Bond film, which has overwhelming popularity anyway, it could be very difficult to market the film without seeming repetitive of other campaigns for previous Bond film, or indeed any action film that is being released.

In order for Skyfall to ensure maximum publicity, various aspects related to the film have been publicised in the media, in addition to a general release of the trailer and the naming of the main actors in the film. For example, great emphasis has been placed on the fact that Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall, is one of only six directors to have received an Academy Award for Best Director for his first film.

The publicity regarding the actors in Skyfall has also been widespread. By casting Javier Bardem as the villain of the film, a Spanish actor, this allows for Skyfall to receive more attention in Spain and Europe, allowing for more of a worldwide promotion of the film’s release, as opposed to just a UK release.

After spending October 2012 in Los Angeles, I realised that there is an equal amount of publicity and excitement for the release of Skyfall in the US as there is in the UK. It may be no coincidence that Bardem has in the past few weeks received a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame just as Skyfall has just been released, thus creating publicity for the film, and for himself. It appears that whenever Bardem is mentioned in online articles, it often refers to his as an ‘Academy Award Winning Actor’, as it does with Mendes as director. Therefore, it seems that by advertising an award that someone has received, and an Academy Awards is undoubtedly the most prestigious award in film, it somehow makes the public feel more inclined to see a film, knowing that the actors or crew have been celebrated for their work previously. Although how much the public credit something such as the Academy Awards, which can be controversial at times, is another matter entirely.

The release of Skyfall has also received negative publicity due to the amount of product placement that is seen in the film. For example, Bond is seen to drink Heineken beer instead of his trademark Vodka Martini, which he regularly drinks in the Bond films and novels. As with the Academy Awards, how much do the public actually care about product placement in Skyfall, even if it is in regards to something that is seen as a James Bond trademark? Even negative publicity can advertise well, and so bad publicity may also be good for a promotion.

Another important aspect of a Bond film is the title song, and the publicity surrounding the title song is widely discussed in the media and on various social networking sites before anything is officially confirmed. Adele, currently one of the biggest UK artists, has written and sings the theme song for Skyfall, also called Skyfall, which has only advertised the film further due to her immense popularity. The song went to Number 1 on the UK itunes chart within ten hours of being released online. This shows the importance of the digital aspect of a release, as the use of music in the case of Skyfall has allowed for more promotion for the film through the use of downloading, a very current and modern aspect of the music business. This can lead to a chain of publicity, as this allows for people to post the song on Youtube, which in turn creates more publicity for the film, and allows for the online community to shares links to sites with any information regarding the film.

The digital aspect of publicity cannot be undermined, as it allows for a lot of attention and only needs one source online to allow for a chain of promotion to spread throughout the online community. The promotion for Skyfall indeed appears to have been a success.


About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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