LICENCE TO KILL
The (Tragic) Evolution of an Ad Campaign
The first piece of promo art for Bond 16. The provocative title (the first non-Fleming title) suggested "License Revoked" would be a very special Bond movie indeed.
Every effort was made to come up with a fresh new ad campaign that told the audience LICENSE REVOKED would be a different kind of Bond movie. Some of the results;
It looked like this poster by Bob Peak — of TSWLM and Star Trek fame — would be the teaser;
But then "License Revoked" campaign is junked in favor of a teaser poster reminiscent of The Living Daylights. Nice poster, but the title change to 'Licence To Kill' suggested trouble ahead…
Trouble indeed. MGM/UA implodes and the Bond marketing campaign is handed off to the guys at Kinko’s. The result, this abominable one-sheet.
International distributor UIP goes their own way and creates their own campaign — which is not really much of an improvement.
But then there's this variant poster used in the UIP campaign that I think is pretty sharp.
Outside of the UK Bond is dressed in a tux in the UIP campaign. It's an improvement, I think.
What was supposed to be a very special, groundbreaking Bond film looks like the most generic of the batch when it reaches DVD. And isn’t that a pic from TLD?
It started off as a promising campaign and it's quite obvious how it ended.