A few days ago, bowler Harbhajan Singh’s lawyers slapped a legal notice on Vijay Mallya’s UB Group for the controversial ad mocking his look-alike. The liquor company withdrew the ad. However, they’re at it again and this time, the subject of ridicule is actor-producer Saif Ali Khan. A commercial by the same company spoofs a rival ad that ‘Chote Nawab’ was featured in.
The original ad-film featuring Saif shows him travelling in a glitzy limousine escorted by multiple security guards on bikes. He is shown walking the red carpet with a sea of flashlights on him. Towards the climax, the ad film shows him being chased by a group of fans, and ends with a rock concert where Saif is strumming the guitar. He’s shown thinking, “Have I made it large?”
Taking a dig at the commercial with Saif and the product’s ‘Make It Large’ tagline, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni commercial shows a lookalike of Saif, travelling in a similar limousine. He’s also shown strumming the guitar but at a wedding party, with a man flipping currency notes at him. Later, he’s shown being pushed to the ground by a crowd, where he utters an expletive. His driver helps him stand up and tells him, while dusting off his suit, ‘Kitna bhi bada kar lo sahab, rahoge to aap chote sahab na (Whatever you do, you’ll remain the junior).’
Video of the spoof
Team India’s captain Dhoni, flying high after beating the English team 5-0, appears at the end, saying, “Zindagi mein kuch karna hai to large chhodo, kuch alag karo yaar (If you want to do something in life, leave large aside and do something different).” When contacted, the Royal Stag (brand endorsed by Saif) representatives refused to comment. The actor-producer, currently in Rajasthan, shooting for Agent Vinod, remained unavailable for comment. His representatives refused to comment either. Even the UB group representatives remained unreachable. Liquor brands are disallowed from direct advertising. So, Saif’s surrogate ad is for Royal Stag music and the spoof is for McDowell’s No. 1 soda.
Dhoni and Saif have worked together in a few ads for Royal Stag and Lay’s Potato Chips. But ad-man Prahlad Kakkar feels it’s not a big deal: “No one spoofs your driver. There’s nothing to feel offended.”
Been There, Done That!
Cricketer Harbhajan Singh was shown in a liquor commercial opting not to work at his father’s ball bearing factory and focusing on cricket instead.
The rival company’s commercial showed a Bhajji look-alike making ball bearings of the size of gym balls at his father’s factory, asking if he had ‘made it large’, only to get slapped by his father for being incompetent.
The off-spinner’s lawyers slapped a legal notice on the UB Group, claiming that their film mocks the bowler, his family and community.
Original V/s spoof
Original commercial, featuring Saif Ali Khan, shows him stepping out of a flashy car, moving on a red carpet, surrounded by photographers, thinking if he has made it large on his own in his life. He’s even shown strumming a guitar. The spoof commercial for a rival brand shows a Saif lookalike being pushed to the ground, playing a guitar at a wedding with currency notes being flipped at him. He’s even shown uttering expletives, looking frustrated.
Video of the original