In news that is so perfect that you’d probably think I was making it up if I wasn’t about to link to and quote from a real, actual article from the New York Times, film professor and world’s greatest pitchman Matthew McConaughey is now in charge of writing and directing commercials for Wild Turkey. The 161-year-old bourbon brand — and its parent company, Campari — just named him creative director, with responsibilities ranging from producing ads to starring in an online documentary to “developing new Wild Turkey products,” one of which might possibly, maybe, be a McConaughey-branded bourbon.
But McConaughey doesn’t want to be just a face. He has ideas. He’s an idea man. And we know this because he said of his new job, “I don’t want to be just a face. I have ideas. I’m an idea man.” This brings us to my new favorite thing in the whole wide world, a segment I like to call Matthew McConaughey Talking About Millennials. The following are, I swear to God, real quotes, all of which I must insist you read in McConaughey’s slow Texas drawl.
“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.”
“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.”
“And millennials don’t want bourbon lite. These people want bourbon, brother!”
But somehow, despite that last quote literally containing the sentence “These people want bourbon, brother!,” none of those quotes are the article’s best. The best quote doesn’t even come from McConaughey. It comes from a Campari executive, who gives us a little window into working with him.
“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.”
I don’t know about you, but I read that and immediately got a mental image of Melanie Batchelor’s phone ringing at 3:30 a.m., Italy-time, again, with McConaughey on the other end ready to tell her a bunch of new things he believes to be true about millennials after taking a five-day soul-searching trip to Joshua Tree. Poor, Melanie.