Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty to endorse Haywards

MUMBAI: Bollywood actors Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty will be coming together to endorse SABMiller’s premium beer brand Haywards 5000.


According to sources close to the development, the deal with the two actors has been sealed for Rs 80 million (Rs 8 crores). Of this, Dutt’s fees is Rs 60 million (Rs 6 crores), whereas Shetty’s is Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crores).


Sources inform that initially SABMiller wanted to rope in Akshay Kumar and another actor for the ad but Kumar was apprehensive in endorsing a liquor brand. Sources add that he had finally agreed to do the ad for a fee of Rs 90 million (Rs 9 crores). However the budget was not viable for the brand as another actor along with Kumar was also to be roped in.


Post this, Dutt and Shetty were approached to endorse the brand. The shooting for the television commercial is scheduled to take place in Hyderabad at Ramoji Rao Film City on 24 January.


The ad involves a pub scene where a fight is picked between two groups. It is then upto Dutt and Shetty to resolve the matter between the groups. Considering that the two actors are known for their action stunts in movies, the ad is said to have some amount of action too.


However, at the time of filing this report, it was not clear whether the beer brand will be shown in the commercial keeping in mind the ban on liquor advertising by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Liquor brands resort to surrogate advertising, which involves promotion of mineral water, soda and music cassettes and CDs.


SABMiller has under its umbrella a mineral water brand in Royal Challenge and other products like Haywards Coke, Haywards Orange, Haywards Lemon, Haywards Mineral Water, Haywards Apple Juice and Haywards Soda. The company’s liquor brands are Haywards 5000, Haywards 2000, Haywards Black, Knock Out, Royal Challenge, Castle Lager and Fosters.


Pertinent to note here is that Sanjay Dutt has also been associated with Bagpiper in the past. Other cases of similar celebrity endorsements include the likes of Dharmendra, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol for Bagpiper and Saif Ali Khan for Seagram’s.


Both Dutt and Shetty have been low on the endorsement front. While Shetty has in the past endorsed brands like Colgate Toothpowder and Atlas Cycles; Dutt has been associated with Rupa Frontline, Yogiraj Thanda Tel and Bagpiper.


The question here is whether stars indulge in surrogate advertising just for the money that comes with it?