LAWRENCEBURG, KY – Longbranch™ has unveiled the bourbon brand’s first-ever global creative campaign entitled “Wonder What If.” Directed by Longbranch Co-Creator Matthew McConaughey in partnership with the brand, the video spot taps into the power of wonderment and curiosity by inviting audiences to join Matthew as he questions what is and dares to think about what can be. Both optimistic and clever, the theme is a true testament to the authenticity of this campaign and aims to inspire, challenge conventional thinking, and ignite exploration.
“The question ‘what if?’ can be a powerful one, beckoning us to dig deep and challenge ourselves,” said McConaughey. “A few years ago, we asked ourselves what if we put a Texas spin on Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and that curiosity led to the birth of Longbranch, my co-creation with Master Distiller Eddie Russell. Our curiosities guide us through life and allow us to turn our ‘what ifs’ into ‘that’s it,’ and we’re hoping this bourbon and our new campaign inspires others to do just that.”
The self-directed video spot features McConaughey sitting in a field with nothing but Longbranch in his hand and a mind free to wander and ponder life’s great questions. He invites viewers to join him on the journey, contending that the curious spirit may not always produce a straight path, but will bring you on a worthwhile journey to an interesting destination. McConaughey’s innately curious spirit was the impetus for creating Longbranch Bourbon, an 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon made in small batches – refined with Texas Mesquite, American Oak charcoals, subtle hints of smoky sweetness and flavors of caramel, pear, and hints of citrus.
“Wonder What If” highlights the rich story-telling that McConaughey has brought to the brand as Creative Director, creating a campaign that is equal parts culturally curious and artistic. Taking inspiration from the creation story of Longbranch, the campaign brings to life the quest of discovery and embracing unfamiliar experiences in the pursuit of discovering something new.
“Matthew and Eddie are a formidable pair – one an expert on branding, creativity and culture and the other a maestro of bourbon distilling with decades of experience crafting some of the world’s finest whiskey. Together, they reimagined traditional Kentucky bourbon with a Texas twist to bring Longbranch to life – what Matthew calls his favorite bourbon on the planet,” said Julka Villa, Global Managing Director of the Campari Group. “This campaign, like Longbranch, is grounded in its roots and dares us to discover what happens when we move beyond curiosity, into action.”
The campaign production required flexibility and creativity to surmount challenges brought on by today’s current climate. Developed through a series of virtual brainstorm sessions, Wonder What If inspired McConaughey and the creative team to rethink art direction and content capture. Shot with minimal equipment in a remote location, McConaughey directed the campaign video himself and worked virtually with AKQA on the editing process. The challenge to do more with less only proved to unleash the team’s ingenuity, and in authentic Longbranch fashion, sparked even more passion and imagination.
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 unveiled an Instagram handle (@Longbranchbourbon), which will feature cocktail recipes, a Longbranch dictionary, and animated videos unbottling the full creative concept.
- Matthew McConaughey – Director
- Josh Combs – Executive Creative Director
- David Svedenstrom – Senior Copywriter
- August Ostberg – Senior Art Director
- John Stallings – Editor
- Dustin Freeman – Executive Producer
- Ophelia Stimpson – Strategist
- Patrick McCabe – Program Director
- Dan Ansell – Strategy Director
- Jack Lodge – Account Director
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.
About Matthew McConaughey
Texas native Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award winning actor, 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, 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. In 2016, 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 upcoming University of Texas sports arena.
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