Longbranch, the award-winning bourbon co-created by Matthew McConaughey and the makers of Wild Turkey, announces the launch of the second chapter in its imaginative “Wonder What If” global creative campaign, conceptualized and starring the Academy Award-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 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.
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