With the announcement that metal band Metallica have partnered with the alcohol firm Arrogant Consortia, Thomas Parker looks at the rich recent past of brand endorsement, from David Beckham whisky to James Bond drinking Heineken.

David Beckham Haig Club Shanghai 1

David Beckham at Haig Club Shanghai (PRNewsFoto/Diageo)

Over the years, iconic heavy band Metallica has, like most major bands, done brand endorsement – most notably a 2013 gig in Antarctica alongside Coca-Cola Zero.

And this week it was announced the band will team up with California-based brewery Arrogant Cortina to create a new pilsner called Enter Night – named after one of the band’s hits Enter Sandman.

So we’ve dusted off the books of modern history to take a look at some celebrity and film endorsements for other brands, ranging from David Beckham to James Bond actors.


Examples of brand endorsement by celebrities and films

David Beckham and Diageo

Back in 2014, global football icon David Beckham partnered up with major London-based spirits and beer provider Diageo – which owns labels including Guinness and Smirnoff – to produce a new whisky brand called Haig Club.

Haig Club, which has its distillery in Cameronbridge, within the Lowlands of Scotland, has been producing whisky for more than 400 years.

HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN served with cola (PRNewsFoto/Diageo)

On the company’s website, Beckham said: “As soon as they told me about Haig Club, the Haig family and the history behind the whisky with Haig, I was in.”

Describing how he didn’t initially view the bottle as a whisky brand, he said: “But then after understanding the reasoning behind the colour of the bottle and the cap, and why we changed the bottle up so much from being a traditional brown or clear whisky bottle it became perfectly clear.”

Beckham’s partnership with Haig Club is a little different as he is not only endorsing the brand but is also a business partner of the firm, being a part of the decision-making process with the brand.

Gary Lineker and Walkers

One of the most iconic and longest-running celebrity endorsements in the UK involves ex-England football legend Gary Lineker and British crisps brand Walkers.

The Leicester-based company partnered with one of the city’s most famous sons in his retirement year of 1994.

Since signing the initial £200,000 deal, Lineker has become almost as famous for his work for Walkers as he has for his subsequent work on British Television show Match of the Day.

Brand endorsement
Gary Lineker and model Kelly Brook with the special Walkers Salt and Lineker edition

Lineker’s role with Walkers primarily involves his work in a run of TV adverts for the firm, as well as a set of special edition “Salt and Lineker” crisp packets, some of which feature a cartoon image of the 1986 World Cup golden boot winner.

Former FA chief executive Martin Glenn – previously the Walkers marketing executive who brought Lineker to the company – said in his 2005 book The Best Job in the World: “The notion that the crisps were so delicious that it could persuade a chap as famously nice as Gary to take from children was one that could be reworked over and over again in the countless different ways.”

Roger Federer and Moet & Chandon

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer signed an endorsement deal with French winery Moet & Chandon back in 2012.

Speaking at the time, president and chief executive at Moet & Chandon, Stephane Baschiera said: “Roger Federer personifies the glamour of achievement, great generosity and tremendous style values that have been key to the douse throughout its long history”.

In 2018, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Federer making his debut in the professional game, the 1743-founded firm created a limited-edition bottle ribbon design alongside Paris-based agency Sid Lee Paris, which described it as “an exceptional design for an exceptional player”.

(Moet & Chandon/Giampaolo Sgura)

The ribbon was created with the same material that is used on the handles of tennis rackets, with Roger Federer’s signature embedded in the rubber.

Unfortunately, anyone hoping to get their hands on this is unlikely to find this bottle around nowadays as it was a limited edition design, with only 20 being sold for 20,000 euros (£18,000).


Kingsman and Brown-Forman

Ahead of the release of Kingman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to the Matthew Vaughn movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, it was announced that the film would partner with the iconic spirits and wine company Brown-Forman.

Brown-Forman’s whisky brand Old Forester created a special edition drink for the film named Statesman – named after a fictional US spy organisation in the film – and its label pops up throughout.

Statesman was also sold commercially by Brown-Forman, which also owns Jack Daniel’s bourbon and Chambord liqueur.


James Bond and Heineken

Ahead of the release of the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, it was announced that, for the first time ever, Daniel Craig’s James Bond would be seen on screen drinking Heineken rather than a Martini – but it would be neither shaken nor stirred.

brand endorsement
The special James Bond edition of Heineken

This wasn’t the first time where Heineken and the Bond franchise worked together, with the partnership going back to the 1997 Piers Brosnan film Tomorrow Never Dies in an advertising deal, although the first character to be seen using a Heineken bottle was John Cleese’s Q ahead of the release of 2002’s Die Another Day.

In 2015, ahead of the release of the latest in the Bond saga, Spectre, the Dutch beer brand unveiled a specially-designed Bond beer bottle with a silhouette of Bond on the front of the bottle.


Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Britney Spears – and Pepsi

Last year, Pepsi released a set of limited-edition cans as part what it called its “Pepsi Generations” campaign.

The release of the cans came after the showing of the “This is the Pepsi” Super Bowl advert, featuring the singers Ray Charles, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

This Is the Pepsi official packaging and creative for Pepsi Generations Summer campaign (PRNewsfoto/PepsiCo)

Talking about the deal at the time, Spears said: “My partnership with Pepsi has always been really special to me.

“I’m so excited to be featured in the new Pepsi Generations summer campaign.

“It’s fun, fresh and all about music. To be featured on a Pepsi can is such an honour, and I can’t wait to see my fans enjoying them”.

The limited-edition cans where released to honour the iconic musical partnerships of Pepsi past and present.