Wild Turkey is Alright, Alright, Alright

Last Tuesday a teaser was posted to Wild Turkey’s social media channels stating the following:

“Change is coming to Wild Turkey on August 1st. But don’t worry, we’re not talking about the bourbon.”

Most people posting comments on the vague statement still seemed to believe it would be about the bourbon, its packaging, or the retirement of Jimmy Russell (this was my guess too). Well, it’s August 1st and the announcement has been made. I doubt that many people saw it coming.

The big news is that Matthew McConaughey was announced as Wild Turkey’s new “Creative Director”. Yes, THAT Matthew McConaughey.

Along with the announcement came the following video showing McConaughey in all his deep-thinkin’, smooth-talkin’, and far-out-starin’ glory. Go ahead and give it a watch and we’ll pick things up on the other side.

Was I supposed to be naked while I watched that? I kind of feel like I was supposed to be naked while I watched that.

Anyways, Mr. McConaughey clearly likes him some “Wyyyld Turkey” and seems to have a great time hanging out with the Russell crew and sipping on some things. He even gets to try a pre-prohibition bourbon from Jimmy’s personal stash which is pretty bad ass. We see shots of him walking through the rickhouses talking with Jimmy, Eddie, and grandson Bruce. Then shots of him having a good ‘ol laugh when Eddie jokes about Jimmy not letting go of the reigns yet (which he finds funnier than shit). All in all it’s a pretty delightful little stroll.

There is one part of the monologue, however, that seemed a bit out of place:

“…the masses are asking for authentic bourbon, not bourbon-light and who’s sittin’ here, unintroduced to many… Wyyyld Turkey.”

Really, Matt? Unintroduced? I get if you want to take the angle Wild Turkey being overlooked or underrated, but trying to play a name as large as Wild Turkey off as an unknown player in the bourbon world might not be the most sensical direction for a Creative Director to take with the brand. Also, what’s “bourbon-light?” Does it have less calories? Because I need less calories.

Moving away from the fun little video, let’s talk about the larger idea of this announcement by Wild Turkey. To me, it seems to make sense to get a celebrity in the mix. There is a boom in the market, and Jim Beam was quick to have super-hot-and-also-funny-lady Mila Kunis roll some barrels around and brand them with her name. We also know that McConaughey made quite the mark on advertising with those Lincoln commercials a couple of years ago, resulting in up to a 16% bump in sales that year for the struggling car brand. Sign me up for a television spot where ‘ol Matt is driving around, sippin’ on some 101, and talking about Jimmy and Eddie.


Alright, so that’s a terrible idea, but some kind of tv spot would be fine and I’m interested to see what direction it goes.

So we’ll wait to see how this all pans out, but part of me worries this is going to accelerate the over-saturation of bourbon marketing. God help us all if Carrot Top becomes the new face of Buffalo Trace or Jay Leno starts slingin’ Four Roses.

But for now it’s just Matthew McConaughey, and you know what he always says:

“That’s what I love about these 10-year-old bourbons, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

I’m so sorry, I couldn’t resist.



Header photo courtesy of Wild Turkey



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