Matthew McConaughey Is Wild Turkey's New 'Creative Director'

Actor Will Direct and Star in Global Campaign for Bourbon Brand

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Wild Turkey: Matthew McConaughey
Wild Turkey: Matthew McConaughey  Credit: Wild Turkey
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Another brand has given a celebrity a fancy marketing title. This time it's Wild Turkey, which today announced that Matthew McConaughey has inked a multi-year deal to become the bourbon brand's creative director.

As part the gig, Mr. McConaughey will "serve as the chief storyteller for Wild Turkey both behind the camera and in front of it, reintroducing the world to the legendary bourbon brand," the Gruppo Campari-owned brand stated. The actor will direct and star in a global campaign slated to begin in September that will include TV, digital and print. The creative agency on the campaigns is JWT, New York, marking a new assignment for the shop. Wild Turkey had previously used Vitro in San Diego.

It marks the first time that star of such films as "Dallas Buyers Club," and "Free State of Jones" has served as a commercial creative director and behind-the-camera director. But Mr. McConaughey is not new to advertising. He has been starring in ads for Ford's Lincoln brand that have gotten heavy airplay in recent years.

Speaking about his new role, the actor said in a statement that "when making a movie, you have two hours to tell a story. Here I have 30 seconds to reintroduce the world to this authentic American brand that has helped shape an entire U.S. industry -- bourbon." He added that "Wild Turkey has the history and qualities of a brand that depicts the dedication of someone to do something their own way – even if that way isn't always the most popular."

Wild Turkey today debuted a video that showed Mr. McConaughey visiting the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky, which is a 20-minute drive from the University of Kentucky, where the actor's parents met, according to the brand.

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"It's a new era for Wild Turkey," Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO at Gruppo Campari, stated. "We've made a significant investment into the brand over the last several years, as we've always strongly believed in the quality of the product and the special story behind the people who make it. With Matthew McConaughey now on board, we believe we are ready to share that story with the entire world."

Giving celebrities marketing titles has been a popular tactic for brands in recent years. In July, for instance, Bacardi Limited named music producer Swizz Beatz as its "global chief creative for culture." In the bourbon category, Mr. McConaughey will be squaring off with actress Mila Kunis, who has been the face of Jim Beam's advertising since 2014.

Wild Turkey is the fifth-largest bourbon label in the U.S. according to Impact Databank. Sales grew 3.4% to 610,000 cases last year.