Nokia/HMD Global is the official phone – or product placement partner, if you're cynical – for the new James Bond flick, and it's going to start teasing its new flagship phone in a Bond-inspired marketing campaign from this Sunday. Which would have been ideal timing if it wasn't for the fact that No Time To Die has been delayed until November due to coronavirus.
HMD Global can't catch a Coronavirus break, it seems. It's now very clear that the licence holder for Nokia phones had a slew of product announcements to make at Mobile World Congress 2020, with journalists lined up for pre-briefings ahead of the big show, which then got cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
However, it turns out HMD Global had a secret agent up its sleeve, or, more likely, a big old cheque with lots of zeroes on it to engage the services of the world's most famous super spy. The James Bond series has long been a bonanza for product placement of all types of gadgets, and in the modern era that includes mobile phones.
James Bond's preferred phone used to be Sony-branded models under a deal apparently worth $US5 million, but for the upcoming 25th James Bond film, he's swapped allegiances over to HMD Global-produced Nokia phones.
HMD Global has a full ad campaign set to debut this Sunday under the title "The Only Gadget You'll Ever Need" – no doubt a push for the company's position as the primary producer of Android One phones that come with guaranteed Android updates for at least two years – with Bond co-star Lashana Lynch said to be "revealing a glimpse of the soon to be announced Nokia smartphones" that will be fully revealed on 19th of March.
The images of Lynch that go with the campaign show off a phone that looks almost exactly like the rumoured design of the quad-cam Nokia 9.2 phone, but there could also be a throwback "classic" Nokia designed phone too. HMD Global has long used its rights to classic Nokia phone names and designs to stir up interest. Although it would be very weird to see James Bond reverting to using a classic Nokia phone in a 2020 film.
The timing of the campaign should have seen Nokia at the heart of the hype cycle, because No Time To Die was set to hit cinemas on 10 April, and all of HMD Global's carefully positioned marketing should have given it a real boost. Instead, it's going to be in the slightly awkward position of having marketing tie-ins for a movie that none of us will see until the end of the year.
Once again, coronavirus appears to be to blame, with No Time To Die delayed to November. Although the producers haven't explicitly said so, it doesn't take too much reading between the lines to see what's to blame here.
MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020. pic.twitter.com/a9h1RP5OKd
— James Bond (@007) March 4, 2020
Given HMD Global's hectic release schedules for Nokia phones – seriously, it feels like there's a new one every month – it's entirely likely that we'll be onto the next cycle of Nokia handsets by then.