American Marketer


Aston Martin, Christie’s to auction off Bond car for charity

January 25, 2016

Actor Daniel Craig with Aston Martin DB10 Actor Daniel Craig with Aston Martin DB10


British automaker Aston Martin is giving consumers one last chance to feel like James Bond.

On Feb. 18, Christie’s will celebrate the home video release of “Spectre,” the latest James Bond film, with a themed charity auction fronted by Aston Martin’s DB10. The auction will give Bond fanatics a chance to live their dream, while the spy’s popularity will ensure hefty earnings for a good cause.

"Created to celebrate Aston Martin’s 50-year association with Bond which started with the iconic DB5, the new DB10 gives a glimpse of the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins," said Matthew Clarke, public relations and brand communications manager of Aston Martin, Americas.

Martin, Aston Martin
Aston Martin has been associated with James Bond since the use of the DB5 in “Goldfinger,” the franchise’s third film, and has resurfaced in the series ever since. Nevertheless, the DB10 is the first vehicle the brand has created exclusively for James Bond, as previous Aston Martin vehicles in the series were created for other purposes and then used in the films.

"Built For Bond: Aston Martin DB10"

Aston Martin's DB10 is also the first DB vehicle to be made available for private ownership. While several DB10s were modified for filming purposes, two “show” cars remained unmodified. The vehicle that Christie’s will auction off at its King Street auction house in London next month is one of them, positioning it among the rarest of automobiles.

The very same vehicle was showcased outside the Royal Albert Hall for the Spectre premiere and has been signed by Daniel Craig, who has portrayed James Bond since 2006’s “Casino Royale.”

Aston Martin's DB10, which is not approved for road use and is therefore for collection only, has undergone a digital scan that will be held in an archive for future reference. The rarity of the vehicle amidst additional similar, modified DB10s means that a record for authentication purposes is a necessity in the long-term.

Highly exclusive items, especially those associated with an icon such as James Bond, help Aston Martin cultivate an aura of exclusivity. While a small number of lucky consumers get to own a piece of Bond, they will likely develop an affinity for the brand responsible for the product.

Aston Martin DB10; photo by Drew Gibson

Aston Martin DB10; photo by Drew Gibson

The vehicle is expected to raise more between $1.4 million and $2.1 million by current exchange rates. Proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian-aid organization that won a Nobel Peace Prize for its work in war-torn regions and developing countries fighting endemic diseases.

The charitable component of the sale disavows the more materialistic aspect of collecting cars and showcases the brand’s values, which will further appeal to consumers, particularly younger ones. As consumer interest shift to experiences rather than things, charity incentivizes the purchases of products and collector’s items.

In a statement, David Linley, honorary chairman of Christie’s EMERI, said, “As a life-long James Bond fan it gives me great pleasure for Christie’s to be part of this James Bond Spectre charity auction, celebrating the 24th film in the franchise. All proceeds of the auction will benefit Doctors Without Borders and other charitable organizations. We are proud to continue Cubby Broccoli’s philosophy of giving something back.”

Omega Seamaster 300

Omega Seamaster 300

The auction will also include the Omega Seamaster 300 watch, worn by actor Daniel Craig in the film and a signed Spectre blu-ray with accompanying Tom Ford cufflinks also worn for the film. Further lots, including the laptop used by Q and Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses worn by Mr. Craig, will be auctioned online from Feb. 16 to 23.

James Bond forever
Although the theatrical release of Spectre has come and gone, many brands across numerous sectors are still relying on the agent’s marketing power to create desire.

For example, Four Seasons Denver is tapping into James Bond’s popularity for its Valentine’s Day promotions, because, well, “you live only twice.”

From sharp suits to fast cars and equally flashy watches, the British spy, who has been raking in cash at the box-office for more than 50 years, has become something of a style icon for young males across the globe (see story). Proving to be an inexhaustible branding partner, Four Seasons is inviting “smitten sweethearts” to Denver to partake in 007-themed packages with elements that include spa treatments and exclusive specialty cocktails (see story).

Moreover, Aston Martin has shown itself to be a model in addressing in a wide range of social issues.

Last June, the brand began looking to close the gender gap in engineering by teaming up the Royal Air Force to introduce female students to various career routes.

Automakers employ large amounts of people and oftentimes have a positive impact on local communities, a dynamic that burnishes their reputations with a humane aspect. This activism will help Aston Martin stand out in a field of admired employers (see story).

"As production of the DB10 was strictly limited to ten examples of this bespoke sports car; developed and hand-built by Aston Martin especially for Spectre, this auction represents a truly unique opportunity to own a piece of automotive and film history,” Mr. Clarke said.