The Award-Winning Bourbon Brand Challenges Fans to Question the Conventional with a Zest for Life through Narrative Series of Digital Shorts
Longbranch (TM), the award-winning bourbon co-created by Matthew McConaughey and the makers of Wild Turkey, announces the launch of a second chapter in its imaginative “Wonder What If” global creative campaign, conceptualized and starring the Academy Award (TM) winning actor. To communicate McConaughey’s vision to step beyond old-world distillery and speakeasy tropes, and venture into a brave new realm of spirited storytelling, the brand partnered with celebrated photographer Miller Mobley to direct and capture the actor-turned-bourbon creator on his curious journey. Shot on a ranch just outside of McConaughey’s native Austin, Texas, the vignettes open to reveal a vast field, decorated starkly by a singular Oak tree before viewers are beckoned to follow the spokesman as he challenges them to question the possibilities of ‘what if?’
Shot in a single day via steady-cam, the spots are meant to draw viewers in for a close glimpse into the intricacies of the creative director and narrator’s mind. McConaughey inhabits a curious and playful mood as he wanders with great conviction, bottle in hand. He pushes a single bar cart through an open field to an unknown destination, sits perched under the oak tree, and eventually raises a glass next to a self-made campfire, all while pontificating on a number of capricious, deep-thought what-if-isms.
“Is he talking to himself? To the universe? The journey is part reality, part subconscious, peppered with thoughtful musings,” notes Director Miller Mobley. “Matthew is known for his curious nature, and we wanted to lean into that in an irreverent, but pure way. We wanted the location to feel like it was a place he might visit often, his own little clubhouse of sorts, to go have a think and a drink of ‘his favorite bourbon on the planet’.”
Evoking a modern-day cowboy aesthetic, surreal and stylized, the series of digital shorts are also inspired by the Kentucky-meets-Texas origin story of the brand. McConaughey’s innately curious spirit was the impetus for creating Longbranch – an 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon made in small batches and refined with Texas Mesquite and American Oak charcoals – together with legendary Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell.
In the opening film, the spokesman-philosopher asks, “What if you took a Kentucky straight, put it into a Texas fire, and created an award-winning bourbon?” A question that is immediately answered as the scene cuts to McConaughey holding a bottle of Longbranch draped in medals. Playing to this visual hyperbole, the brand has accumulated numerous accolades in recent years, including Double Gold medals from the prestigious San Francisco Wine & Spirits competition (2019), a Gold Medal (90 points) from the illustrious Beverage Tasting Institute (2019), and Gold from the Spirits Business Whisky Masters competition (2021).
In subsequent shorts that run from just six to thirty seconds, the narrator ponders “What if there was a horse named Longbranch,” while dreamily envisioning an exhilarating horserace, poetically rhymes “Oak, Mesquite. Smoky, Sweet…” before chuckling to himself, and wittily references the age statement of the bourbon declaring, “Eight years in a barrel. That’s some natural SFP.” The new series adds variety to the campaign that was first developed through virtual brainstorm sessions and produced entirely remotely, shot with minimal equipment and self-directed by McConaughey in 2020. With the return to in-person collaboration, the second iteration of “Wonder What If” leverages higher production value and evolved storytelling to showcase the essence of the Longbranch brand.
“At the intersection of Longbranch are two individuals who care passionately about this product. Matthew is an ardent cultural tastemaker who genuinely loves bourbon, and co-creator and Master Distiller Eddie Russell is a legend in his own right, for the incredible innovations he has brought to the world of bourbon. Longbranch has been performing incredibly well for our portfolio in the past few years and we continue seeing this momentum on the brand,” said Julka Villa, Campari Group’s Global Head of Marketing. “We are really doubling down on our efforts not only to bring a super-premium craft bourbon to our customers, but to deliver a bit of whimsy and delight, and tap into their sense of wonderment. The creative campaign is where we can entertain our consumer, while educating them on how truly special this product is.”
Launching in early May, the campaign will run on digital and social media channels in the United States and in select global markets. In conjunction with the campaign launch, Longbranch will run the spots on the official brand Instagram handle (@Longbranchbourbon ( https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=3531487-1&h=3735754662&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instagram.com%2Flongbranchbourbon%2F%3Figshid%3Drj9bvf7i5jl&a=%40Longbranchbourbon )).
– Longbranch Co-Creator and Wild Turkey Creative Director: Matthew
– Director: Miller Mobley
– Director of Photography: Jeremy Snell
– Executive Creative Director: Josh Combs
– Executive Producer: James Elkus
– Production Company: Vanadis Media Inc.
– Post-Production: EDI Effetti Digitali Italiani
– Editor: Stuart Greenwald
– Colorist: Emiliano Serantoni
– Wild Turkey Longbranch:
– Global Head of Marketing: Julka Villa
– Global Senior Category Director: Mattia Carlozzo
– Global Director of Communication: Joseph Baide
– Global Senior Brand Manager: Stacey Beerman
– Global Associate Brand Manager: Sean Hudgins
– Global Senior PR Manager: Erin Smolinski
Launched in 2018, Longbranch is a collaboration between Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell and Creative Director Matthew McConaughey. Inspired by McConaughey’s Kentucky and Texas roots, Longbranch was specially crafted to represent elements of both states and its name represents an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family. Created with 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Longbranch is made in small batches and artfully refined with Texas Mesquite and American White Oak charcoals, offering a bright gold color and aroma that is a balanced blend of vanilla and spices. The subtle, smoky finish is buttery smooth, with notes of gentle pepper and toasted oak subtle hints of smoky sweetness and flavors of caramel, pear and hints of citrus. Longbranch is McConaughey’s favorite bourbon on the planet. Website: https://wildturkeybourbon.com/product/wild-turkey-longbranch/ Instagram: @longbranchbourbon ( https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=3531487-1&h=3755600756&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instagram.com%2Flongbranchbourbon%2F&a=%40longbranchbourbon ).
About Matthew McConaughey
Texas native Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor, a writer, philanthropist, husband, and father of three. He’s appeared in over 40 feature films that have grossed over $1 billion dollars. In 2008, McConaughey founded the just keep livin’ Foundation ( https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=3531487-1&h=3649239279&u=https%3A%2F%2Fjklivinfoundation.org%2F&a=just+keep+livin%27+Foundation ), which is dedicated to transformations through programs that teach the importance of decision-making, health, education, and active living. The just keep livin’ Foundation presently serves 37 schools in 11 states of the U.S. In 2014, McConaughey also took on a new role: Creative Director, brand spokesman and chief storyteller for Wild Turkey. In collaboration with Master Distiller Eddie Russell, McConaughey co-created his own bourbon, Wild Turkey Longbranch. He also serves as the Minister of Culture/M.O.C for the University of Texas sports arena, and is co-owner of Austin FC, the professional soccer team based in Austin, Texas. In 2020, he released his NYT Bestselling book “Greenlights”, a collection of personal stories and insights.
About Miller Mobley
Miller Mobley (b. 1986) is an American photographer, designer, and restaurateur. Born and raised in Alabama, it was in the South that he discovered his love for image-making. He later moved to New York to refine his craft. From photographing the now infamous portrait of the late Anthony Bourdain to being chosen to photograph Michelle Obama for her memoir, “Becoming”, Mobley is known for his images of many of the world’s most celebrated personalities. His subjects include Michelle Obama, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Bourdain, George Clooney, Ariana Grande, Natalie Portman, Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams, and Nicole Kidman among others. He has been commissioned for such companies as Disney, Netflix, HBO, AMC, Random House, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, National Geographic, Elle, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, and Time. In 2020, Mobley opened his first restaurant, Slim’s, a neighborhood pizzeria in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, please visit: www.millermobley.com / Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/millermobley/?hl=en
CONTACT: Erin Smolinski, Sr. Global PR – Campari Group, Erin.firstname.lastname@example.org