Sean Connery’s alter ego’s signature drink may have been a vodka martini – shaken not stirred – but in real life it appears the James Bond actor prefers a dram of whisky. After years of being pursued by various distillers, Scotland’s most famous actor has agreed to front a major campaign for Dewar’s, the world’s fourth-largest whisky brand.
Dewar’s was formerly a major brand in the UK, but was de-listed in 1980 by its former owner, Diageo. The brand was then bought for $1.4 billion by Bacardi in 1998 and has re-established itself in the market abroad where Dewar’s is now a major success. It is ranked No1 in the United States, ahead of the likes of Johnnie Walker. About 98 per cent of its business is export, and it sells 48 million bottles annually.
This is the first time Sir Sean Connery has agreed to promote his country’s most well-known export and after 18 months of negotiations the deal to was finally settled — Connery is costing Dewar’s $1 million.
Neil Boyd, the global brand director of the Aberfeldy-based company, said the company was thrilled to be associated with Sir Sean. “Celebrity endorsements are very fashionable just now. The public seem very interested in their lifestyles and what they do. And it’s an effective promotion for a brand. It took a lot of chasing and a lot of hard negotiations. As celebrities go, he is one of the biggest names.”
The advertising campaign, which will run until March 2006, will feature television and cinema commercials with subtitles. Alongside poster advertising, with the signature line: “Some age, others mature”.
The new advertisement, which is reminiscent of the current Bill Murray film Lost in Translation, cannot be shown in the UK for contractual reasons. But will instead Dewar’s promotions will focus on the emerging markets of Lebanon, Greece, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Thailand, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The tv and cinema commercial, which is 45-second long, splice images of a young Connery appearing in the 1964 Hitchcock film ‘Marnie’ with current footage of the 73-year-old actor, who berates his former self for not drinking Dewar’s 12-year-old.
At the same time, there is a knock at the door and the camera pans to a dark-haired girl in a long, split dress, saying: “Sean, Sean, are you in there?”
Old Sean looks at young Sean and says: “Shall you get it or I?”
Old Sean motions towards the door and says to the camera: “Some age, others mature. Dewar’s 12 Scotch Whisky.”