The gunternet is ablaze with news of how “The NFL rejected Daniel Defense’s Superbowl commercial” which has of course sparked the usual suspects to call for a boycott of the NFL to show them…something. Here’s the actual commercial that DD submitted:
First things first, I really like Daniel Defense. Way back in the aughts, they were an early sponsor of Gun Nuts Radio, and I think their rifles are absolutely top notch. If you’re looking for an AR15 and you want quality out of the box, you won’t go wrong with a Daniel Defense. That being said, this isn’t a very good commercial. I have no idea what they’re trying to sell me until the last few seconds of the commercial, and the political messaging of “no one has the right to tell me how to defend my family” comes off as hackneyed and forced.
Now, here’s the part where I get hate mail: I don’t think Daniel Defense had any intention of this commercial being accepted by the NFL to be broadcast during the Superbowl. I think that this is actually a pretty cagey marketing strategy on their part. They make a commercial that they’re going to use in traditional broadcast venues, like the Outdoor Channel etc, and submit it to the NFL with no expectation of getting accepted. Then when the commercial is rejected, a simple FB post about how the NFL rejected their commercial and then just surf the wave of free publicity generated by internet hurt butts. I’m not saying that’s what they did, but in a way I kind of hope it was their plan all along, because I admire crafty marketing like that.
The other side of this coin are all the people saying we should boycott the NFL, which is generally predictable when this sort of thing happens. We are very fond of subjecting all facets of our life to purity tests, and for some reason our entertainment especially so. However, if I only consumed entertainment from groups/companies/actors/organizations that were fully supportive of my gun rights, then I’d be pretty bored most of the time.
There is actually a very interesting parallel in the gun community to the evangelical Christian community. When I was growing up, we were instructed to not listen to secular music, and to consume entertainment that was Christian or Christian-friendly. I can recall adults going to great lengths to justify certain mainstream movies as Christian-Friendly because said movie contained a generic good-vs-evil message that could, if you turned your head sideways and squinted a bunch, be construed as a Christian metaphor. In the gun community, we do pretty much the same thing a lot of the time, and it’s just as silly for us to do it as it is for the evangelical community to do it.
I’d like to think that Daniel Defense pulled off an incredibly cagey marketing stunt with this commercial, and if that is the case, than I doff my cap to them in respect of a masterful maneuver. For the people calling for a boycott of the NFL and the Superbowl, well I wish you good luck with that. Don’t force your purity tests on those of us who still enjoy sports and don’t particularly care about the NFL’s politics. We just want to watch football and be entertained.