‘Give ‘Em The Bird,’ Says Wild Turkey

Campari America’s 157-years old bourbon brand Wild Turkey, has launched it first-ever television advertising campaign. It debuted on May 1 with a TV spot called ‘Give ‘Em The Bird,’ which plays off the eponymous barman’s expression in a fun way.
Photo: ‘Give ‘Em The Bird’ poster, from Wild Turkey Facebook page

It shows a young bartender who is instructed by his senior colleague to ‘give a bird’ to a client who has just entered the bar. The novice don’t understand why he has to give the guest just a feathery creature until he realizes its another expression for serving Wild Turkey bourbon. The spot was directed by Bob Giraldi, famous for creating Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ music video.

Both 15- and 30-second versions have already started airing on a variety of channels like ESPN, Comedy Central, Spike, TNT, and TBS. Additionally, there are print ads, out-of-home, digital, social media, and public relations activities. The campaign was developed by FLY Communications out of New York, NY.

Campari America, which acquired the Wild Turkey brand in 2009, since then has made some significant changes to improve the production and packaging of the brand. In summer 2011 it launched Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon and in fall 2011 it expanded the bourbon’s distillery by $50 million. In March 2012, Campari America introduced the new Wild Turkey 81 Rye.

“It is never easy to take a more than 150 year old brand and put it on television for the first time,” said Umberto Luchini, Head of Marketing, Campari America. “I think our ‘Give ‘Em The Bird’ campaign stays true to the Wild Turkey brand, but just as importantly, it stays true 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.”