Matthew McConaughey wants us to come back down to Earth.
The Oscar winner teamed up with Salesforce for its new campaign, which will run during the Olympics and the Super Bowl.
The "New Frontier" spot is part of the cloud-based software company’s #TeamEarth campaign, which calls on both businesses and individuals to consider a more sustainable future. It features the 52-year-old suiting up as an astronaut — a familiar role for the star who did just that in the 2014 sci-fi film "Interstellar." And while the actor initially seemed in awe of space as he gazes out towards the galaxy, he soon realizes that Earth still has plenty to offer.
"It’s not time to escape," McConaughey is heard saying in the commercial. "It’s time to engage. It’s time to plant more trees. It’s time to build more trust. It’s time to make more space for all of us. So while the others look to the metaverse and Mars, let’s stay here and restore ours. Yeah, it’s time to blaze our trail. ‘Cause the new frontier? It ain’t rocket science. It’s right here."
McConaughey, who serves as Salesforce’s brand adviser, co-created the spot. And while he acknowledged poking fun at the self-indulgent adventures led by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, he also noted that the planet can benefit from the billionaire space race — if done correctly.
"It sure can — it absolutely can," McConaughey told FOX Business. "We’re not saying we’re against pioneering space. We had our little fun, and we completely mean that. But what we’re also saying is we’re not ready to quit on our home team, which is us, right here. Our humanity is on our home field — Earth — right now. Let’s talk about what else we’re selling. We’re selling the values among us right here on Earth, which is sustainability. If we don’t fix our values among us here, where the hell are we going to be? If and when we get to outer space, are we going to take the same problems we have now to another planet? That’s not too smart. We need to fix what we’ve got here first. That’s in everyone’s interest."
"No, we’re not against technology … or space travel. But we need to have technology with the right soul," he continued. "We need to use technology for any exploration the right way. We need to think about restoring the resources we need on our planet. If we don’t fix and restore the best here on Earth between us right now, what product are we going to be exporting when we get to space?"
Salesforce’s #TeamEarth campaign is part of the company’s commitment to fighting climate change. By co-founding 1t.org, it aims "to conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030" among its numerous goals.
While some like Musk, 50, are thinking about colonizing Mars with the help of SpaceX, others like Mark Zuckerberg have another "M" buzzword on their minds. In October 2021, the Facebook CEO announced he’s changing his company name to Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short, as a signal to embrace the "metaverse." The 37-year-old described it as a "virtual environment" you can go inside of — instead of just looking on a screen.
Essentially, it’s a world of endless, interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.
"I’ve learned that life’s a balance," said McConaughey. "If reality is not enough for you to turn you on, and you seek the virtual in life, and you seek extra credit … look, that’s why people go to drugs. That’s why people go to pornography online. The reality’s not enough. OK, I’m done here, let’s go off and explore space — sometimes that means reality’s not enough. But if reality’s not enough for us to turn us on, then [we’re going] to be in a pickle."
"At the same time, I do also agree with, if you’re not impressed with what’s around you and the life you’re living, create your own impressions," he shared. "And that’s what an entrepreneurial spirit does. But it’s a balance between the two. If you just settle with what reality gives you all the time, you’re gonna sometimes get trampled on. If you’re just obsessed with, ‘No, there’s not enough here. I only want what’s out there, the unknown,’ — well, you’re gonna be pretty unhappy. We need a balance that benefits us all."
The father of three noted he’s inspired by how businesses today can drive change in our country and not solely profit.
"I think the last two years with COVID exposed the truth — that businesses, the private sector, all the way down to individuals — they all have more power to create change and for leadership than ever before," he said. "We have to be responsible and we gotta be agile. You know, oil, carbon, wildlife, water, air — we gotta regulate, but we gotta anticipate. We’ve got the means to measure our resources, so we can anticipate, so we don’t go barren before we need to restore."
"I look at our human values in the same way we've got to measure," he shared. "Our trust level is so low, especially in America right now. The trust in our leaders, the trust in the media and the trust in politicians. It’s so low, [which is] another reason why businesses have such an opportunity with responsibility right now. People are looking over and going, ‘Who do I listen to for leadership?’ And a lot of businesses have stepped over and said, ‘Follow me. We’re going to pave the way.’ That’s a huge responsibility. How can we trust businesses to lead us in the right way? That’s part of the rally, to say, ‘You’re on a platform to lead change. Let’s do it responsibly. Let’s invest in ourselves and each other.’"
McConaughey stressed that he’s not quitting on our "home players." He described how it’s important for his ideas about the future to be heard not just in front of the camera, but behind the scenes too.
"Any work I take on now is kind of a partnership really," he said. "I have to be behind the scenes. In some ways, yes, I am still an actor for hire when I want to be. But if I’m going to be part of something, I need to be behind it. It’s not just about selling a product. It’s also selling brand values, ones that I align with. And I need to be behind the camera because I need to trust that others will follow through. … We can all take responsibility in not just creating success, but also a movement."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.