1. 'Licence To Kill': The (Tragic) Evolution of an Ad Campaign

    By johncox on 2002-07-05

    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.