Oh, Wild Turkey.
The bourbon started this "Give 'em the bird" thing not too terribly long ago with an online ad featuring a beautiful woman flipping off a bar mate. Turns out she's just ordering a shot of whiskey. (Funny, I've never seen anyone get a drink for making that gesture in a bar, although I have seen women flip off men who were staring at them. Apologies for the misunderstanding, ladies! Your shots are on the way!)
This turned into a minor scandal when the brand self-censored the spot by pixellating the gesture (fans of hard liquor liked the original version better). But it seems the campaign made enough of a cultural dent that Wild Turkey is now releasing this new, more family-friendly advertisement—its first national TV spot. In it, a young bartender, still glowing from a wordless flirtation with a pretty girl in the first few seconds, refuses to obey his grizzled boss's suggestion that he give a bald, leather-clad biker type the bird. Oh, the bird! We thought you meant the finger.
The directing in this ad is fine, although the copywriting is a little confused. The spot starts off with a happy-looking bartender and a cute girl and then heads off into biker territory. It feels a little like an ad that should contain one or the other, but not both. Perhaps this is part of a longer campaign, and we'll see the girl return eventually? It feels weirdly padded for a 30-second spot, but a cutdown to 15 seconds for shorter avails will probably be an easy one to make.
Here's my question: After enough of these advertisements, are we actually going to see people giving the International Sign of Goodwill to one another in a bid to look cool (because people on TV are automatically cooler than people not on TV) and get the bartender to serve the object of their derision a shot of bourbon?
This has the capacity to go very badly—possibly even rivaling the "How about a nice Hawaiian punch?" massacre of 1986.
Client: Wild Turkey
Agency: Fly Communications