The original and still the best - how Sean Connery advertised Jim Beam bourbon during and after his time as 007...

Licence To Shill (1)

2nd May 2011

After the crest of Bond Fever had enveloped popular culture the world over with the release of "Thunderball", savvy advertisers were quick to jump on the merchandising gravy train. Kentucky bourbon Jim Beam signed up the man himself, Sean Connery, to appear in advertisements as himself from 1966 until 1974. Despite not being in character, Jim Beam used his associate as "the original James Bond" in their copy, even after Roger Moore had made his debut in "Live And Let Die."

Above: Sean Connery's first print ad for Jim Beam, which appeared in the September 16th, 1966, edition of LIFE Magazine. A month later, the publication would feature a cover story on 007 creator Ian Fleming. The copy highlights Connery's starring role in "A Fine Madness."

Above: The first 1967 follow-up advertisement with Connery in a similar jacket, but this time the copy promotes the new Bond film "You Only Live Twice."

Above: A Christmas 1967 advertisement with a more prominent mention of "You Only Live Twice".

Above: The last Jim Beam print advertisement Connery posed, published in the April 1974 edition of Playboy magazine. Having left the role, seen George Lazenby play it once, then return for "Diamonds Are Forever" only to depart and be replaced long-term by Roger Moore, the ad makes use of Connery's enduring appeal as the 'original'.

Recent Articles - James Bond 101
  • Most Read 2020
  • James Bond Turns 100
  • Bond Myths 001
  • Bloodless Coup
  • Bond on ITV (1980s)
  • The Christmas Bond Film
  • Bond's New Home