But MGM/UA faces a more immediate challenge: that Tomorrow could degenerate into a two-hour infomercial, a criticism that's been leveled against other heavily tied-in films like The Lost World. ''That's a real fear,'' admits Sortito. ''But each of our product placements is integral to the story. Nothing happens without the producers' okay.'' Which is why, she adds, there was no attempt to force what would have been awkward placements for partners such as L'Oreal.
Then there's the other obvious hazard: box office failure, though none of Tomorrow's partners seem worried. ''This is no Last Action Hero,'' says David Korb, Ericsson's VP of marketing. ''Bond movies don't bomb. The only bombs will be in the film.'' Now, if only there's an explosives company needing a tie-in.
LICENSES TO KILL FOR
Some of Tomorrow Never Dies' biggest partners:
BMW supplied 007 with his new wheels: a $14,000 R 1200 C motorcycle and a $92,000 750iL sedan. In return, BMW will use clips from the film in its multimillion-dollar campaign.
ERICSSON provided 007's centerpiece gadget: a phone that acts as a stun gun, a remote control for the BMW, and a safe opener. No wonder Ericsson's launching a multimillion-dollar push in 130 countries starring 83-year-old Desmond Llewelyn as gizmo master Q.
SMIRNOFF has devoted its entire holiday ad campaign to Tomorrow, including distributing recipes for Bond-themed cocktails. Anyone care for a sip of Moneypenny?
VISA, in its first Hollywood partnership, produced one of its most expensive TV commercials ever for its tie-in: a 30-second high-tech ''mini-movie'' starring Brosnan and Llewelyn.
OMEGA timepieces, worn by Brosnan and new Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, are being touted by the watchmaker in print and global TV ads. Trailers for the film will play in 7,000 Omega stores.
L'OREAL's new 007 cosmetics line, which features lipstick, eye shadow, and nail polish with names like Bond Bordeaux, will be promoted in ads starring Yeoh.
HEINEKEN's multimillion-dollar campaign features real people named James Bond. The brewer also debuts a Bond gift set, including pilsner glasses and night-vision scope.