Wednesday afternoon, our Marketing Strategy class had a special guest speaker who would present after our classmates presented our case studies. The case study was awesome. We were in charge of either Transformers 3 or Harry Potter 7 and needed to create an integrated marketing communications strategy for our selected movie to beat out the other movie in ticket sales. I thoroughly enjoyed this project because I could really get creative. We were required to incorporate mobile marketing, guerrilla marketing, and mass marketing into our marketing phases. Anyway, I have just become side tracked again but want to let everyone know that this Marketing Strategy class has been the most rewarding class I have ever taken and Aj. Yayus Mak, our teacher, has both challenged me and motivated me to think creatively more than any teacher I have ever had. She is a genius. That’s my shout out.
The presentations were very creative and fun to watch. We always have a break in the middle of class and the second half was set aside for the guest speaker to present. During break, I was told that she was the Senior Sales Director for Sony and that she had been working with Disney on the new James Bond film Skyfall. Without even hesitating, I knew I had to skip break, go back upstairs, and introduce myself. I have been watching the James Bond films religiously since I was a small kid. I remember renting the old Bond movies at the public library. The LIBRARY! I don’t even think that exists anymore.
I went upstairs and walked into the room. It was perfect because it was just the lady from Sony and one more student. I came in, said “I heard you were working on Skyfall and I have to admit I have seen all 22 Bond films.” Great opening line, smooth. We spoke about the challenges of marketing an English movie in South East Asia where there is still strong anti-British sentiment. They pretty much colonized a good chunk of South East Asia. Them and the French. She let me in on a secret regarding Heinekens involvement with the movie and their marketing scheme. She also gave me a hint that she brought prizes along with her and there will be a great prize for two of the students in our class. I pretty much melted right there cause any Bond prize is just awesome.
She presented and spoke about the film industry. Her insight was very rewarding and I now view the movie industry as a business more than entertainment. Much more goes into a film than I ever imagined and marketing these movies is a greater challenge than people believe. After her presentation, she dropped the bomb on us that she had two tickets for the James Bond Gala Premiere in Bangkok. I started shaking, no joke. The coffee I just had at break was not helping right now as my heart was about to pop.
How it worked was completely luck. She tore up around 20 pieces of paper. One piece to represent each student. On two of the pieces of paper, she wrote her initials. If you picked one of those papers out of the box, you won the ticket. I can’t explain it, but somehow I knew I was going to get a ticket. I have weird luck with these things. I won a ticket to see Alex Rodriguez when I was 10ish by picking the short straw, I won a raffle in Mexico on my birthday and won a finger painting, that was also a raffle, and I have had multiple experiences of just pure luck. Plus, this was James Bond. This was fate. I had reruns of Sean Connery playing in my head, I had flashbacks to when I argued like crazy with my mom to let me watch Goldeneye when I was too young, and I just knew this had to happen.
We all pulled out a piece of paper and opened them all at the same time. I opened my small, tiny, piece of computer paper. It was not to be. I did not get the ticket, no Willy Wonka golden ticket that would take me to the Bond Factory. Instead two women won the tickets, one from Germany and the other from the Netherlands. I couldn’t believe it, no Bond.
But wait, Anna from the Netherlands, who had just won a ticket, is leaving for Vietnam for the weekend and can’t go. Round 2 Baby! There was still life in me and I liked my chances. Everyone put there pieces of paper back in the box and I just kept bouncing up and down like an anxious and giddy 5 year old waiting to ride a roller coaster. I looked dumb but didn’t care, I had a second chance!
We all pulled a single piece of paper once again. Opened the paper up all at the same time, and my paper had two small squiggles. I stared at it for a split second in disbelief. I had an inkling that I would win the ticket but it is always blind hope. It is always just a lie to tell yourself that you are going to win to avoid the pain after losing. But this was no pain. I fell numb and couldn’t feel my arms as I raised both of them up in tribulation. “Booyah” is what rang out of my mouth as the entire class gave me the evil eye. I was accused of cheating, I was bribed, I was ecstatic. These tickets were mine.
I was supposed to go to Cambodia, I was supposed to see this with my dad when he came here, but pppsshhh screw that. I am hitting up that red carpet baby! I was presented with the ticket from Subha-Orn, the Sony lady, and left the class with a grin. A grin that wouldn’t recede all weekend. Some may call it a smirk because they were bitter but trust me, that was a full blown smile.
I instantly went back to the hotel, pulled out come cash, and went on my way to get my fitted suit. This was fun. What kind of suit, slim, ultra slim, relaxed fit, one vent, two vents, no vents? Totally customized. I decided to go black pants (slim fit), black jacket (super slim fit), and white dress shirt (super slim fit). I work out, might as well have a suit that shows off the bod. They took their measurements, asked me a few questions, and I was out the door. I returned the next day, put on the clothes, made some more adjustments and was out the door again. Came back Saturday, put on the suit for some last minute adjustments and found out that no adjustments were needed. The suit fit perfectly. I was out the door with my new suit Saturday night. Felt like a CEO.
Monday night was the Gala Premiere and I was so anxious to put my suit on and get there that I was an hour early. I was so excited. Nina and I took a taxi to Central World, the biggest mall in Bangkok, took the elevator the 7th floor and waited for further instructions. I rocked the bow tie because, well, who are we kidding, that’s what Bond would have done. Much to my chagrin, everyone wore a bow-tie. I thought I was going to be unique but whatever, I still rocked that suit and in my opinion looked the best dressed. I was expecting cameras to call out “Daniel, Mr. Craig, can we get a minute?” or “Bond, Bond, can we get an interview” as I walked down the red carpet. I had a response “No sorry, you have the wrong guy. I am Boedigheimer, Chase Boedigheimer. I am the new Bond for the 2016 film”. It was going to be great.
We got our tickets, met up with our teacher, and took photos. Yayus Mak asked me if the Thais take a lot of pictures and I said, “not as much as a high school girl”. God, I am one funny guy. We took photos, watched a fashion show, and drank a free Heineken. I was introduced to the president of the cinema, the British Ambassador, the President of Marketing for Sony, and was able to see first hand how large companies like Heineken and Coca-Cola Zero incorporated their integrated marketing strategy into the Bond movie. Truly an amazing experience. Also was able to pose with some Thai models, my bond girls. It was funny, there were Thai celebrities everywhere but I had no clue who they were. Didn’t really care either to be honest. Nina and I were getting some long hard looks and people were curious why we were there. Most of the people in attendance to this event were either celebrities or important business figures. I am just this 21 year old farang, their slang term for white foreigner, who really didn’t deserve to be there at all. I was also getting long hard looks because I looked damn good. Damn Good!
The movie was awesome. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it but I highly recommend it. One of the best Bond movies in a very long time. Overall, the night was amazing. I have to thank Aj. Yayus Mak for presenting this opportunity and Subha-Orn for being incredibly generous. Big shoutout to Subha-Orn for coming to present her knowledge and wisdom in class and her generosity and sincerity. It was an incredible night and something I will remember for a long time.
P.S. Love you mom and dad