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Jim Beam

A 1967 Jim Beam ad with Sean Connery, also promoting You Only Live Twice
A 1967 Jim Beam ad with Sean Connery, also promoting You Only Live Twice
photo © Jim Beam
photo © Jim Beam
From left to right, 1966 ad (mentioning A Fine Madness), 1966 ad (mentioning You Only Live Twice) and 1974 ad mentioning "Sean Connery The original James Bond"
photo © Jim Beam

photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists
Felix Leiter pours James Bond a glass of Jim Beam in The Living Daylights
photo © Danjaq LLC, MGM, United Artists

photo © Whisky Auctioneer
This is a very similar 1980s Jim Beam bottle as the bottle seen in The Living Daylights
photo © Whisky Auctioneer

Jim Beam has two James Bond connections (if you don't count that they share the same initials JB!): Sean Connery appeared in Jim Beam ads and Timothy Dalton as James Bond drinks Jim Beam Bourbon whiskey in The Living Daylights (1987).

Sean Connery Jim Beam Advertisements

From 1966 to 1974, Jim Beam ads featured Sean Connery, not as James Bond, but often with a mention of James Bond or his latest (Bond) film. A 1966 ad mentions this: "See Sean Connery in the new Warner Brothers Film, "A Fine Madness""

The 1967 ads (see an example above) mentioned "See Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice".

The payoff in these ads reads:

The taste is distinctive.
The man is Sean Connery.
The Bourbon is JIM BEAM.

In a 1974 ad, Sean Connery appears once again, but now is labeled "The original James Bond" after both George Lazenby and Roger Moore had made Bond films by that time.

The Jim Beam Sean Connery ads appeared in major magazines, including Playboy.

Funny enough, it looks like the exact same headshot was used for all ads, but the photo was edited professionally by the ad agency onto different bodies / outfits.

Sean Connery was not the only celebrity used in Jim Beam ads in the 1970s: other people featured were Orson Welles, Babe Ruth, Robert Wagner and Bette Davis, Burt Bacharach, Dennis Hopper, Elliott Gould and more.

Read more about Sean Connery's commercial endeavours

Find vintage Jim Beam Sean Connery ads on eBay

James Bond drinks Jim Beam bourbon himself

In The Living Daylights, James Bond's CIA friend Felix Leiter (played by John Terry) grabs a bottle of Jim Beam from a shelf (where also a bottle of Jack Daniel's, another American Whiskey, can be spotted). He offers James Bond (Timothy Dalton) a glass which Bond accepts.

The bottle in the film is very similar to the 75cl bottle pictured on the left, with the aluminum screw cap and label design.

About Jim Beam
Jim Beam is a brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Clermont, Kentucky, by Beam Suntory, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan, which also produces Suntory Whisky.

Suntory Whisky itself can be spotted in an early Bond film, You Only Live Twice (1967) and is mentioned in the novel of the same name.
Read about more Suntory James Bond connections

Product Code: 
fd042

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