The American Dream in 2017 is the dream of viral sensation, of crafting a meme so great that it allows you to transcend your earthly body and become eternally adored in a sparkling world of ones and zeros—at least until the next guy flicks salt in a funny way or whatever.
And it was in the pursuit of this dream that the owners of Alabama roofing company Digital Roofing Innovations set out to craft a viral video so grand that it takes hold of the collective American consciousness, skyrocketing them to fame and fortune. And what captures the collective American consciousness better than guns?
At least that was the thought process behind company co-owners Zach Blenkinsopp and Chris McGuire's new "buy a roof, get a gun" marketing campaign. In their viral online promotion, the company pledges to throw in a complementary AR-15 with every roof purchase, WIAT reports.
"If you sign up for a new roof with Digital Roofing Innovations, you're going to get a free AR-15," Blenkinsopp—a US Navy vet—says, decked out in short-shorts and a red bowtie, in the video promoting the offer.
But it's not like Blenkinsopp and McGuire can just hand over a semi-automatic from the trunk of their car after finishing a roofing job. According to AL.com, once Digital Roofing Innovations finishes a new roof, it'll present a voucher good for an AR-15, a hunting rifle, or $500 to use at a local gun range. Buyers will still have to go through all the proper background checks to get a gun, but once they do, it won't cost a thing.
Sure, throwing in a free AR-15 costs a little extra for the roofers, but McGuire figures that the free gun is a better use of the money they've earmarked for advertising. "We don't have a huge budget right now for marketing," he explained to WIAT, "so what can we do that's super cheap that might go viral? This was it."
Blenkinsopp and McGuire knew the concept would drum up controversy on both sides of the aisle, which is exactly why they "posted [it] in extremely conservative Facebook groups and extremely liberal Facebook groups," hoping to "invoke emotion," McGuire said.
And it worked: Some people are mad, some are excited, but with over 200,000 views, the video has got a lot of people talking. Plus, the whole thing is great news for anyone who is both unarmed and unroofed and wants to do something about it—at least those living in Alabama.