Give ’em the Bird

All right Wild Turkey Bourbon.  Your slogan is vaguely clever (“Give ’em the bird? Why would I insult someone with a rude gesture? Oh, now I understand!  A turkey is a bird and is also the name of a high-quality Kentucky Bourbon!”)  But the ad with the two bartenders (I had a link here, but decided not to give the company any more publicity) is just so ridiculous and implausible I can’t take it anymore.  (It doesn’t help that this video plays at least twice during each episode of the Daily Show and Colbert Report I watch.)

An angry looking bald guy walks into a crowded bar.  The young bartender, who apparently didn’t get the memo that the grunge look died 10 years ago, is intimidated. The older, “wiser” bar owner tells his young apprentice to, “Give ’em the bird.” The confusion is evident on our young friend’s face, yet the owner simply repeats his cryptic advice.  The young bartender refuses again and the older barkeep decides to do it himself, pouring some fine Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon on the rocks.  A mild salute from our angry bald man lets us know how wise the old barkeep truly is.  End commercial.

Seriously.  This young guy works at what is apparently a very busy bar, yet is so unlearned in the knowledge of his trade as to completely miss the point of his boss’s advice?  Then, instead of clarifying his instructions, the older bartender just repeats the same useless catchphrase to his idiot employee.

Look, alcohol commercials are all pretty weird, especially for hard beverages like vodka and whiskey.  As far as I know (though I can’t officially confirm it), this is partially because commercials can’t show people actually consuming alcoholic beverages.  So they show the lifestyles of the types of people who drink said beverages (or something equally appealing and tangentially related — see the Budweiser horses, for example).  But this particular commercial is so stupid and so insulting I would deliberately avoid Wild Turkey even if it was the best tasting drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) on the planet.

Creativity is hard, I know.  But some ideas need to get thrown out in the meetings with the ad agency, Wild Turkey.


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