Part of the appeal of the James Bond movies is that most of us secretly hunger for more adventure in our lives. Not so much adventure that we risk life and limb on the regular, as James Bond does, but perhaps enough to convince us to break out in a dead run in the middle of a crowded train terminal. A slick stunt promoting the latest entry in the venerable film franchise confirms as much.
For “Unlock the 007 in You,” a series of (suspiciously fit and well-dressed) travelers approach a Coke Zero vending machine while awaiting their train. A nearby violinist abruptly shifts gears from the warbly tune she is playing to the 007 theme song. That should be hint #1 that things are about to get surreal. Soon each soda patron is offered the chance to win exclusive tickets to Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s third outing as the super spy, in theaters next month. All it will take to win, the machine informs, is for the would-be spy trainee to get to platform 6 in 70 seconds. Sounds simple enough.
The only catch is that the team behind the stunt has placed every possible obstacle in the pathway of each challenger. Personal space-invading janitors clog the most readily available stairway, an excitable woman in a red dress seems to know each “spy” and wants to have a chat, and there’s even that old chase-scene standby of two men inconveniently walking a glass pane around. In order to get to the end point in time, the participants have to use the same kind of resourcefulness and single-minded determination that Mr. Bond does in his movies. Mission accomplished.