Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't worry, ladies...

Robb Allen shares a nerdy gun macro:

From General interwebs

It won't mean much to you if you aren't a serious gun nerd (there's some, ah... spirited debate over whether the tiny bullets fired by FN's Five-seven pistol are quite ideal for self defense), but the original ad is a great illustration of something that drives me nuts in defensive gun advertising.

Look, I get the emotional impact of the scenario: standing between your family and danger is a pretty freakin' emotionally charged situation, and all advertising for safety equipment trades on the customer's fear of being unprepared for danger. Fine. So the melodramatic photo may be silly, but it ain't nohow offensive.

But for God's sake, there are two adult human beings in that household, evidently in fear of a deadly enough threat that a drawn pistol is called for. Why the hell would any family settle on an emergency plan that boils down to "one of us will deal with the danger while the other cowers and hopes it all turns out for the best, 'kay?"

Seriously, FN, you make great products. But this is just a stupid advertising strategy. Not only are you at best ignoring and at worst alienating the rapidly growing market of female defensive-gun owners, you're also implicitly encouraging your target audience to buy less of your product. If you're convinced you need the "ah am thah feerless sentry" vibe to sell defensive guns, at least give the mom in the background a second gun (maybe one of FN's classic Browning shotguns, elegant and traditional firearms designed for sport but more than capable of home defense, available from finer gun dealers everywhere). Your ad designers have evidently decided to reinforce an impression that a household of two adults can adequately address its needs with only one of your products. Fire them and hire Oleg Volk*.

[* - Don't actually hire just Oleg Volk. He takes pro-self defense photos of all different kinds of people with a wonderfully inclusive worldview, but not being an ad writer his copy is sometimes clumsy. Hire better ad guys, and license Volk's photos.]


  1. Well, unless you've got three hands... Calling the cleanup crew and comforting the daughter seems to have occupied both of Mommy's. Which is why I keep a cellphone with voice dialing and a BT headset on my nightstand along with the rest. Just make sure to "freeze! Drop it!" *before* you pull the trigger.

    OTOH, having the little with a pink Cricket (replace with appropriate FN .22 as appropriate) to go with Mom's Browning would have been amusing...

  2. Ha! They should let us design the next ad. Dad, both moms, and four kids all pointing ordnance down the stairs. Take _that_, home-invading hordes of Mordor!

  3. And the bunny with the Glock...

  4. Every once in a while I forget what giant nerds gunnies are. It doesn't last long. ;)

  5. Amusingly enough, I opened up the April 2010 American Rifleman just now (Kimber 84L on the cover), flipped one page and saw a full-page pic of the FiveseveN held by a woman, with the caption "Ladies' Home Companion" and subtitled "Built for America's forces. Built for you."

    So FN isn't entirely ignoring the fairer sex.

    +1 on nerdery, just like any other hobby

  6. for a copy of the ad