This cereal brand got Dwayne Johnson and Serena Williams as endorsers without paying the big bucks

U.K. brand Surreal recruited normal people with famous names for a series of outdoor ads

Published On
Mar 08, 2023
Surreal cereal billboard that reads "We're Dwayne Johnson's favorite cereal. Dwayne is a bud driver from London"

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Cereal brand Surreal in the U.K. has unveiled a set of cheeky outdoor ads with endorsements from some big name—though it turns out it’s only the names that are famous.

Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, Ronaldo and Michael Jordan have all stepped up to say they love the brand. But they’re just ordinary folks who share a name with those global megastars. They were paid £200 each for their enthusiasm.

Surreal cereal billboard that reads “Michael Jordan loves our cereal. He’s just a normal bloke who lives in St. Alban’s but he does really like it.”

Surreal cereal billboard that reads “Official cereal of Ronaldo. Probably not the Ronaldo you’re thinking of.”

Surreal cereal billboard that reads “Serena Williams eats our cereal. She’s a student from London and we paid her to eat it but the point still stands.”

“We can’t afford famous celebrities, so we just found normal people with famous names and paid them to say nice things about our cereal,” the brand said on LinkedIn. “Now we can use their names wherever we like and no one can stop us.”

In a footnote, they added: “We didn’t check that with legal, but we’re sure it’s fine.”

The comments under the LinkedIn post are pretty amusing, with lots of people warning the brand that it’s treading precarious legal ground—as if the brand didn’t already know that.

“This could be illegal. You are using famous people's names for promotional/commercial purpose, probably without permission,” wrote one commenter. To which the brand replied: “We're using normal people's names for promotional/commercial purposes. Thought we made that clear in the incredibly small print.”

“Does the U.K. not have ‘passing off’ laws?” wrote another. “Guess we're gonna find out,” said Surreal.

“We’re buzzing to be the official cereal of a Dwayne Johnson and a Serena Williams,” said co-founder Kit Gammell. “If anyone knows a Dave Beckham, please get in touch.”


A post shared by Surreal (@eat_surreal)


Mar 08, 2023
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