When Celebrities And Advertising Collide (Matt McConaughey’s Whiskey Adventures)

by Justin Crockett

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When you’re a famous person, you will from time to time get handed a large sum of money to say you like a company’s product very much.

“Hi, I’m Pat Sajak, and I’d like to talk to you about Hanover’s pretzel crisps.”

“Meg Ryan here, and if I’m going for full on quasi-coma, Tylenol PM is the fucking tits.”

 

You’ll see, when you make it. You’re going to be pimping out the latest fizzy beverage or yogurt or orthopedic foot pads. You may have heard recently that Wild Turkey, America’s 12th(?) favorite whiskey, hired Matthew McConaughey as a spokesman for their product. Not content to just have his meth-y drawl attached to their product, they apparently heavily sampled their own product and made him creative director. For bourbon. One of the only products in history that sells itself.

If you don’t have the time to watch that, or a murder-suicide happened next door and you’re too distracted to handle moving images, I’ll boil it down for you. Matty McFlannel takes a tour of the distillery and takes thoughtful looks at men who are describing a process he can’t possibly begin to fathom. He’s here to bring down-home rusticity, so that uppity folks can begin to embrace whiskey again. And as creative director goddammit he wants to tell the story, not just be a character in it.

The real fun starts when Matthew McALRIGHTT finds out that one of the company’s head honchos has a pre-Prohibition stash of hooch in his office. Matthew rolls his sleeves up, stretches that Hollywood pinky finger out, and sips history.

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As he’s sniffing in the complex bouquet, then getting the notes of oak, and tobacco, he sets the snifter down and proclaims “well, that’s reeell nice….I feel like….like I just got a little wiser”.

He goes on to offer sage insights, like “we’re in the middle of a bourbon boom time” and “who’s sittin’ here, unintroduced to me? Wild Turkey!”

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What he means has some truth. To many, Wild Turkey has been bourbon’s little bitch cousin for some time now. It’s just somehow…not good? Sorta like kerosene mixed with pre-chewed tree bark.

But Matthew McGonahee senses something deeper in this story. It’s a story of a family. The Russell family of master distillers that has given white trash a countless stream of bottles of punch fuel since the early ’50s.

The actor begins to wrap up this new campaign after yet another tasting of the company wares. He reminisces on his time at the distillery. “We may not be for everyone”, he declares, already incorporating himself into the fold. “If we’re for you, you’ll know.” Yes, Matt, if we have under 10 dollars and you’re on a shelf in a strip mall, you’re for us.

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Wild Turkey as a brand isn’t doing so hot, so having Matthuw McKonngahee! sit around and bullshit with some real people isn’t a dumb move. As he says, he wants to tell a story. A story that involves saving an extra five bucks and reaching a little higher in the liquor store. 

God bless you, Russell family. But when McConaughey starts with his “time is a flat circle” fucking bullshit, you run, and you don’t look back.

 

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