Marketing Agility

The big news according to the mainstream media and the White House was the trade of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for professional women’s basketball player Brittney Griner. Bout was serving a 25 year sentence for conspiring to kill Americans while Griner had been sentenced to 9 years on drug charges. Left out in the prisoner exchange was former Marine Paul Whelan who has been sitting in a Russian prison since 2018 on trumped-up espionage charges. At least Secretary of State Antony Blinken had the decency to acknowledge Whelan was left behind.

Bout is reputed to be the inspiration for the Nicholas Cage character in the movie “Lord of War”.

Missouri-based retailer Tactical Shit took the notoriety associated with this prisoner exchange and the resulting criticism to set up a 24-hour sale called the “Lord of War” sale. They are offering 10% off all gun and ammo sales with few exceptions. I got an email about it by mid-afternoon today. I will note that I am neither a customer nor an affiliate.

A screen capture from the email is below.

Was this in good taste? Well….. Was it a great example of marketing agility? Damn right it was. They used a current event that is being reported ad nauseum to reach out to their potential customers who are not thrilled with Paul Whelan being left behind. I would be real interested in finding out what sort of response they have gotten to this promotion.

One final note – the company refers to its customers as “Local Warlords” so this fits right into that theme.

Personalized Pitches. Or Not.

I often get news or press releases for new products related to either the firearms or outdoor industry. I also sometimes get an article pitch asking to either post or at least link an article.

I got one of the latter from “Drake” this week. It had to do with Thanksgiving which is somewhat topical. “Drake” at least knew my first name so I’ll give him that.

Then there was this paragraph:

I noticed on your website titled [XXXXwebsite nameXXXX] that you’ve talked about Thanksgiving in the past, [XXXreferring page URLXXXX] so I assume you’re still interested in the topic. It only comes once a year, so I wanted to talk about our history of Thanksgiving.


To protect the guilty I’m not going to post a link to the article or mention “Drake’s” website.

Code Pink

Just like everything in Zombie Green, I think the whole “pink guns for girls” thing is getting a bit overdone. There is nothing wrong with a woman wanting a gun in pink…or emerald green or lavender or even in the Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid. But to automatically assume that a gun has to be in bubblegum pink to attract female buyers is just utter nonsense.

I realize that I’m not the only one who believes that. My views on pink guns was reinforced by a column in today’s Shooting Wire written by Laurel Yashimoto. Laurel is a law enforcement officer in Southern California and was a first time attendee at this year’s SHOT Show. Among her comments about being a first time SHOT Show visitor she said this:

The only thing that really gave me pause was constantly being handed something pink. My favorite color is green, but being female means that the one pink item in the booth will eventually end up in my hands. After a few of these surprising color-coded encounters, I concluded that if it goes, “bang!” fast and accurately, I don’t really care what color it is. It was sweet that men tried to include women by making something in a color they hoped the ladies would like. Kind of like when the birds on the NatGeo do the crazy mating dances. It may not be sexy, but it’s nice to know guys care. And no, much to my disappointment, I did not see a pink weapon mounted lighting system.

I love the comparison to bird’s mating dances from the NatGeo channel. Just like some of those mating dances that look rather ridiculous, I think assuming that using pink is the only way to attract a woman to a firearm is equally ridiculous. 

I think a better way might be to take the example of Taurus and build your marketing efforts around a strong, confident woman shooter like Jessie Duff. Not only does she have Hollywood starlet good looks but she is also a USPSA Grand Master shooter. It just seems to me that this would have a better chance of success while really being a lot more respectful of women.