Today, Wild Turkey Bourbon launched the first television ad campaign in its 157-year history.
The inaugural spot takes a humorous approach. Faced with serving a surly-looking, intimidating patron, a new bartender is loathe to take his boss’s advice: “Give ’em the bird.” But the novice quickly learns that the phrase is bar slang for serving a Wild Turkey Bourbon. (Once served, the patron displays a hint of sociability, by lifting his glass in salute.)
The spot will run through the spring in 30- and 15-second versions on nationwide outlets including ESPN, Comedy Central, Spike, TNT and TBS. The TV media flight is expected to garner an estimated 150 million impressions.
The brand’s ongoing marketing campaign also includes print, out-of-home, digital, social media and public relations.
The campaign was developed by New-York based FLY Communications. The spot was directed by Bob Giraldi, whose credits include Michael Jackson’s award-winning “Beat It” music video and Jackson’s 1984 Pepsi commercial, one of the most-watched ads of all time.
“It’s never easy to take a more than 150-year-old brand and put it on television for the first time,” noted Umberto Luchini, head of marketing for Wild Turkey parent Campari America. “I think our ‘Give ’em the Bird’ campaign stays true to the Wild Turkey brand [and] to our loyal fans, who will absolutely understand the wink and nod humor in the spot, and see this commercial as being Wild Turkey, through and through.”
Since acquiring the Wild Turkey brand in 2009, Campari America has launched portfolio extensions (Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon and Wild Turkey 81 Rye); updated the portfolio’s packaging; opened a new, $44 million packaging facility; and doubled output through a $50 million expansion of the brand’s distillery.