Matthew McConaughey Is Wild Turkey, And Wild Turkey Is Now He
“Does your bourbon wear seat belts? Then I guess you better catch it.”
“CUT! He’s saying stupid shit again!”
If you’ve only seen Matthew McConaughey’s Wild Turkey Short Film and nothing else, then you’ve experienced just a small fraction of this full bore fart-quaffing bonanza because it turns there’s also a New York Times interview and, well, my God…
Matthew McConaughey took a big swig of bourbon and nestled deeper into a hotel penthouse sofa. Then, with zeal, he sat straight up and began sniffing the air like a bloodhound.
“They can smell it,” he said in an ominous tone. “Millennials, and I know this for a fact, can smell solicitation. And it’s a turnoff. The best ads are not solicitous.”
“Now, I don’t really know what a millenial is, but the big cats told me that’s who I’m aiming for, and I sure like saying it. Mill-en-ee-ahl. Mill-en-ee-ahl.“
The multiyear deal goes far beyond pitching a product, as Mr. McConaughey has recently done for Lincoln. This time, in addition to appearing on camera, he will write and direct the spots. He has also involved himself in recording music for the campaign, which will be introduced in September.
He will also appear in an online documentary about the history of the 161-year-old brand and will have a say in how Wild Turkey bottles are photographed for still ads. Moreover, Campari wants his take on developing new Wild Turkey products, with a Matthew McConaughey-branded bourbon as a possibility, he said.
*sits down in a room full of old, white, Kentucky bourbon makers, starts slowly playing bongos*
“I call it Matty Mc’s Surfer Boy Blend. It captures everything that Wild Turkey stands for in my heart. I’m talking waves, a multi-cultural luau on the beach, marijuana. And fellas, we do it all with non-GMO corn because here’s something a yogi taught me that really stuck in the ol’ noggin’: ‘To gaze into the true eye of Allah, one must purify the body.’ Y’all got yoga in Kentucky? A good downward dog after a nice kelp breakfast, nothing like it in the world.”
“I told them, ‘I don’t want to be just a face. I have ideas. I’m an idea man,’” Mr. McConaughey said. “The brand is a little dusty, and in some ways I’m shaping a full-on reintroduction.” He continued: “The great news is that Wild Turkey hasn’t changed in all these years — it’s totally authentic. And that appeals to millennials. Because they can smell fake. Some manicured, bearded hipster soliciting them? No, thanks.”
“Toldja I like saying that word. Mill-en-ee-ahl. What do you suppose it means?”
Campari seems thrilled — if a bit startled — by the attention Mr. McConaughey has been lavishing on Wild Turkey, which the company bought for $575 million in 2009 and where it has since poured $100 million into operations upgrades.
“I did get more than I bargained for, but in a great way,” Melanie Batchelor, vice president for global spirits, said by phone from Campari offices in Italy. “Personally, I have been completely overwhelmed with his level of commitment.”
*bursts into random meeting*
“So here’s what I’m thinkin’ because go big or go home, right? It’s Super Bowl. Sunday night. Mom, dad, kids all gathered around the TV waiting to see the big game. There’s electricity, excitement. Maybe someone’s got a favorite team. Maybe someone’s got a different one. Maybe one of those team loses, and maybe someone dies before the night’s over. Probably mom as these things tend to go. But here’s where the goose catches the worm: What was dad drinkin’ that night? Pan over, it’s beer. Bourbon’s arch-nemesis.
‘Wild Turkey: Not that kind of booze.’
Fade out on an eagle holding a fish. Cut it. Print. Now, sit right there, I recorded the whole jingle on my phone. *looks for play button* I ever tell you folks how my old man died? You’re in for a treat. So he and my mom, 70 years old and still going at like teenagers when – BAM! – heart goes out. But here’s the thing, his cock sure didn’t…”
The new marketing campaign will not “suddenly get all hoity-toity and alienate our core drinkers,” Mr. McConaughey said. Instead, it will emphasize that “this drink is unapologetically itself, and if you’re living your life that way as well, then Wild Turkey will probably find you.”
The official tag line for the campaign is “It’ll Find You.”
“It’s going to be fun and wild, but the opposite of solicitous,” he said, pouring himself another drink. “So-lic-it,” he added, dragging out the syllables and clinking the ice in his glass. “We’re not gonna go that route.”
“As I learn more and more each day about the millenial, where he lives, where he sleeps, there’s no way that tagline won’t have them lining up like foxes to the water hole. Just picture that slogan all over college campuses. A handsome, roguish gent holding up a bottle of Wild Turkey with one simple, clear implication: It’s coming to getcha. Don’t bother to run, missy. Damn, I’m good at this.”
Photo: Wild Turkey/Gruppo Campari