Q would have had kittens... The moment Sean Connery
almost swapped his Aston Martin for a Skoda - not
to mention the $1.4m advertising deal...
Connery Almost Sold Skodas
4th March 2003
When German car manufacturing giant Volkswagen took over Skoda
- the Czech car company which is the butt of many jokes - it had
an outrageous idea for marketing the new Fabia and Octavia models.
The company targeted Connery, Sean Connery, to appear in television
commercials for the new car and win some much needed respect back
for the flagging manufacturer. How do you lure a former 007 away
from his Aston Martin and into a Skoda?
The plan was simple - film Connery and a Skoda in the grounds
of Eilean Donan Castle near the Kyle of Lochalsh - the same castle
that featured as the temporary MI6 HQ in "The World Is Not
||Richard Fuxa (a name perhaps better suited to an Austin
Powers movie) was one of the people responsible for the idea
at the the Prague advertising agency - "I think it's
an excellent, excellent move and in the European market it
will of course give Skoda some added value. It can only boost
the car's image, so I think it's a brilliant idea."
Other than the "allure" of being the new face of Skoda,
the company were offering a hefty pay day of $1.4 million. Fuxa
explained the deal: "From what I remember of the prices of
other stars like Bruce Willis, the going rate was around one million
dollars, so I think it's a normal price. And of course James Bond
is already widely accepted as the top action movie series, with
high investments involved, so I don't think it's a huge amount
| The Response
Whilst shooting "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"
in Prague, Czech Republic late last year, Connery revealed
why the deal never took off. "I was interested at first,
but I hadn't seen the new model, I mean, let's face it Skoda
was not a great car."
"When they sold the car they used to have built
in rust, you didn't have to wait for it."
"Seriously, I was not going to do a commercial about a car
until I could at least sit in the car, drive the car. They sent
me a faxes but they were all black...if I could not connect nor
see, there was no way I was going to do it. I saw one when I came
to London and very impressed by the car. They have had a fantastic
response. Unfortunately no one can afford to buy them [in Czech
Skoda completed an advertising campaign for the launch of the
new cars without any action heroes. Connery had previously been
the face of Mazda's television
commercials in Japan.
Below: How it the advertising campaign could
have looked - "Schkoda... Schtriking"