Matthew McConaughey is saying "Alright, Alright, Alright," to Wild Turkey -- in a potentially serious and sustained kind of way. 

Earlier this week, the bourbon company published a mini-documentary film, in which the Oscar-winning actor (Dallas Buyers Club) announced his new position as creative director. 

Years ago, when Wild Turkey first approached McConaughey with an endorsement deal, the actor explained that he wanted to be more than merely the "face" of the brand.

"I want to have my hands in the clay of how we tell the story, and I want to be part of the whole story, not just a character in it," McConaughey says in the film. He then goes on to meet with the family owners of Wild Turkey, the Russells, to learn how their whiskey is made.

In his new role, McConaughey will write, direct, and star in a series of digital and television segments over several years, according to the company. Wild Turkey will begin releasing these advertisements, produced by JWT, in September.

The "creative director" title is sure to raise eyebrows, as many celebrities have attached their names (if not much of an actual stake) to companies in the past. As the Harvard Business Review puts it: "Undoubtedly, some of these relationships are simply glorified brand endorsements and can be classified as CDINO (Creative Director In Name Only.)"

Think: Justin Timberlake for Bud Light (the singer later joined Beam to market a new tequila), or Taylor Swift for Diet Coke (the musician has famously endorsed a number of brands, including Cover Girl, Verizon Wireless, and L.E.I. Jeans.) Then there's singer Alicia Keys, who was caught tweeting from an iPhone shortly after taking a "creative director" position at Blackberry in 2013. (She later tweeted that her account was hacked, and parted ways with the phone maker just one year later.)

Still, Wild Turkey insists that McConaughey's role is more involved than you might expect.

Celebrity creative director "can be a title that's talked about by a number of other companies, but our experience has been that Matthew has had an extremely high level of engagement," says Melanie Batchelor, the senior marketing director of whiskey for Gruppo Campari, Wild Turkey's parent company, in an interview with Adweek. "He's been involved in every single piece of the process, from writing the ads-- he's obviously starring in the ads, and he's also directing the ads -- so he's both in front of and behind the camera."

What's in a name? 

Businesses should not underestimate the deeper, psychological value of a celebrity endorsement. According to "schema theory," which holds that all knowledge is organized into units, consumers often purchase products according to the image they wish to project in public -- whether or not that image is actually true.

"We want to create a persona, or schema, and we create our persona by the brands we believe form it," says Wagner Kamakura, the Jesse H. Jones professor of marketing at Rice University in Houston. For example, "someone who is liberal tends to read the New York Times, drive a Volvo, and drink lattes. Then there's the cigar chomping, Mercedes-Benz driving, Fox News watcher." 

McConaughey's association with a liquor brand is especially meaningful, inasmuch as it's often harder for customers to determine the quality of pricier alcohol. The product, Kamakura explains, is "experiential."

"These are the services and products where you can only judge quality after you've paid for it," he says. "For experiential groups, you need to rely on some source of information," such as a famous endorsement.  

Still, Kamakura questions the long-term economic impact of signing a celebrity partner.

"The day a celebrity contract is announced, there's usually a bump in the stock price [of a company]. That's what investors believe. But it does not necessarily mean that the value of a firm has gone up," he explained. 

Investors would do better not to "overreact" to the news of an endorsement, just as they're often advised not to overreact to a negative piece of news. Consider, too, that a celebrity -- like a political candidate -- may one day make a gaffe, or fade from the limelight, which could negatively impact the companies they've become associated with.