Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey teamed up to spread Thanksgiving cheer to the distillery’s hometown of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The cause marketing activation was to show appreciation to the town, help those in need and promote a fundraising campaign to fight hunger.
With a population of just over 10,500 residents, Lawrenceburg is usually a quiet town—the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbors. So when the doorbell rang on November 4, residents were more than a little surprised to see a movie star standing on their front porches holding a turkey.
McConaughey, master distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell and some 250 volunteers combed the town to hand-deliver fresh turkeys donated by Butterball. Together, they delivered 4,500 turkeys, including 580 to the town’s food pantry and nursing home. Wild Turkey wanted to thank the town for supporting it over the last 100 years, say a personal thank you to those who help out in the community, and aid those who need it most.
Distillery employees had no idea the actor was going to be there until he walked in on the morning of the big giveaway, which also happened to be his birthday. Their reactions, as well as the reactions of Lawrenceburg residents, were filmed to commemorate the event.
McConaughey’s appearance was no coincidence. Last year, he joined Wild Turkey as creative director and chief storyteller, working with the brand to write, direct and star in a series of ads. The veteran actor poured himself into the role as he would any other, and his passion shows what happens when a brand and an influencer become more than business partners.
“We have great relationships with a lot of influencers but I think that Matthew is, for us, the influencer that can give us that draw on a global scale,” Melanie Batchelor, vice president for Gruppo Campari, the parent company for Wild Turkey, told AListDaily.
When he’s not on the big screen, McConaughey is also an active philanthropist, aiding such organizations as Autism Speaks, the Red Cross and relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Cause related marketing can be an effective way to showcase a brand’s values and put its money where it makes a difference. A recent survey from marketing research firm Toluna found that 46 percent of respondents think cause marketing is a great way to bring attention to national or global issues. Hunger was the top cause respondents thought brands should support.
In addition to its door-to-door poultry delivery, Wild Turkey made a donation of 50,000 Thanksgiving meals to Share Our Strength, a charity that helps feed families in need across the country. The brand has partnered with Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry program for a fundraising campaign called “Friendsgiving to End Hunger.”
Those who wish to help can sign up to host their own fundraisers, schedule ongoing contributions or make a one-time payment. Wild Turkey will match all gifts up to $5,000.
Now that’s some good, old-fashioned Southern hospitality.