Unveiling one of the biggest endorsement deals in the alcoholic beverage industry, the recently-floated Diageo-Radico joint venture has roped in Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador for its first offering Masterstroke deluxe whisky.
This is Shah Rukh's first endorsement deal in the liquordom after he emerged on top of Bollywood. The equal JV company, Diageo Radico Distilleries Pvt Ltd, is expected to pour out around Rs 20 crore including Mr Khan's endorsement fee, sources said. “We are confident that this will be the biggest brand roll out in the Indian spirits industry in recent times.
We will be supporting the endorsement deal with enough resources for leveraging Shah Rukh on multiple platforms,” said Radico Khaitan MD Abhishek Khaitan. For the record, the ban on liquor advertising would see Shah Rukh endorsing Masterstoke music CDs.
Masterstroke, priced between established whiskies like Royal Challenge and Royal Stag, marks Diageo's return to the Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) market. The brand is being rolled out under the supervision of Johnnie Walker master distiller Peter Warren.
Diageo India MD Asif Adil said the decision to bring in Shah Rukh was backed by commissioned independent market research. “Shah Rukh is a masterstroke just like our brand. He represents a new India, full of hope.
We hope he will help us to connect with today's India,” he added. He said the brand in its initial days has evoked a good response, especially in terms of the reaction to the blend, and the national roll out would be completed over a three-month period.
The deal for Masterstroke with Shah Rukh Khan was finalised in association with Carving Dreams Entertainment Pvt Ltd headed by Mr Bunty Bahl. As brand ambassador, the celebrated actor will play a key role in brand and product communication on television, in print and outdoor media.
In context, it must be mentioned that market leader United Spirits has used Bollywood stars over the years in developing some of its iconic brands, especially Bagpiper. This brand has seen endorsements from the likes of Dharmendra, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan.