Activism from the grounds up

I’d call Starbucks Appreciation Day a resounding success. 

Fans

Can we now please put to rest the silly idea that gunblogs can only tear something down, not build something up? 

Update: I think Linoge nails it: The point of the buycott wasn’t to force Starbucks to post “Guns welcome here” signs in all their stores, the point was to reward them for not giving in to the fear-mongering of the hoplophobes of the world.

More …

How the game is played, Fourth in a Series of… um, I dunno how many.

Why do viral videos count for some much when it comes to social media? 

This is why

According to new research commissioned by Unruly Media, viewers are far more likely to recall a brand name and engage with an ad’s message if a branded video has been recommended to them by a peer. The survey, conducted by Decipher Research to measure the effectiveness of social video advertising, found that social video recommendations had a direct impact on traditional brand metrics and ad enjoyment.

The new research found:

  • Brand recall and brand association rose 7 percent among viewers who had peers recommend the videos versus viewers who found it by browsing;

  • 73 percent of respondents who viewed a peer-recommended video recalled the brand when prompted versus 68 percent of viewers who had browsed to the video directly;

  • There was a 14 percent increase in the number of people who enjoyed the video following a recommendation versus those who had discovered it by browsing;

  • People who enjoyed a video were 97 percent more likely to purchase the product featured in the video.

The study, which surveyed online video viewers, aged 18-34, across four social video campaigns from top fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands Guinness, Coca-Cola, Unilever’s Cornetto and Energizer Batteries from July to November 2011, sought to determine the impact of peer recommendations.

Quick, think of the last online video produced by a gun company that went viral. 

*crickets* 

The old rules of “bring a dozen gun writers from the major magazines to a shooting school, have them fondle pre-production versions of our new guns and embargo what they write about it until the guns are released for sale” sorta works for now. Sorta.

However, some gun company is going to figure out that there’s a better (and cheaper) way to do it, and that gun company is going to rule the place where gun nuts rule

How the game is played, Part the Third

When I was in college learning how to be a (photo) shooter, I used to joke that “kids and dogs = the perfect photo for B1”. Of course, this was back when newspapers had budgets for feature stories and the space to run their photos big. 

Getting a good soft news photo is as much an art form as snapping a shot of the game-winning basket or that perfect spot news photo, and the same elements that make a good feature photo make a good viral video. 

Kids and dogs. Humor. Cultural memes. Portability. Oh, and cute kids acting all growed up helps too.

How the game is played, Part Deux

To review from Part One, a good viral video should have… 

Uniqueness
Portability
Humor
Cats
Video games

So how come this video took off last year? 

Uniqueness: Oh yeah.
Portability: The video went viral, the audio from the commercial did not. Part of that is because we humans respond more to sight than we do sound, part of it is because of the “sweater full of mischief” seen in the video, but part of it is because there’s no good platform for viral audio right now. You want audio? Get a podcast. 
Humor. Oh freakin’ yes. Funny as all get out. Hilarious. Stunningly hilarious. Brilliantly hilarious. And it’s even better because it takes the same emotions we apply to warm fuzzy animals and applies to cold plastic and steel. I’m in awe. The guy or gal who did this needs to sign with Sattchi&Saatchi or Deutsch LA, and quick. 
Visuals: See comments under portability. 
Cats: No. 
Video games: No, but it does use a pre-existing meme, the tear-jerker pet adoption ad, which is essentially what video-game related memes do.This ad takes a pre-exisitng cultural icon and give it a new twist. This is why the zombie meme sorta works for the firearms industry: They take a pre-existing item on our cultural radar and tag along for the ride. Unfortunately, no one is doing that in a humorous way yet, and believe it or not, zombies and humor mix VERY well

Bottom line, if the gun companies want their stuff to go viral, it’s time to put down the tactical gear and pick up the clown nose. Guns (when used safely) are fun. Shooting stuff is fun. Gun owners are funny

Gun advertising? Not fun at all. And the sooner gun companies realize this, the more money they’ll make off the internet. 

Five Guns O’ Fun

Ok, Robb, since you asked… 

Special bonus entry: An M134 Vulcan Air Defense System. Why? Do you have to ask

5. A Deagle. There’s just something about owning Agent Smith’s gun that I like. And not a gold, engraved one either, just a regular ol’ Desert Eage.

4. Bren Ten. Don Johnson. Jeff Cooper. Josef and František Koucký. Need I say more? 

3. An HK53. I’ve liked these since before I graduated high school. Hating HK is cool now, but I still want one. Speaking of high school…

2. A Ruger AC556. No, not because of the A-Team. I wanted one since Dirk Benedict was Starbuck, not Face. 

1. A Beaumont-Adams revolver. The gun that won the West. The Canadian West, that is. 

Kel-Tec and SHOT Show

The phrase I kept hearing at SHOT this year was “What would Ruger do?”. Other gun manufacturers are realizng that Ruger’s had consistently popular guns recently, most notably the LCP, their .380 ACP pocket pistol, which kicked off the pocket .380 craze of a few years ago. However, the LCP borrowed substantially from of the Kel-Tec P3AT, the original pocket .380, so maybe the gun companies should look to Ruger for innovations in marketing and Kel-Tec for inovations in guns. 

And Kel-Tec certainly has new and completely original designs out there. I’ve argued online that George Kelgren is the most innovative designer out there since Gaston Glock, and I’ll stand by that argument to this day. My arguments are backed up with products like the aforementioned P3AT, the SUB-2000 pistol-caliber carbine (quick, name another carbine under $500! Time’s up!), the .308 RFB, the .22WMR PMR-30 pistol and a bunch of others. 

Walking by the Kel-Tec booth, I got a chance to examine their much-talked about (but rarely-seen) RMR-30 .22WMR carbine

Kel-Tec RMR-30

Right off the bat, this sucker is LIGHT. Very light. And skinny. It’d benefit from either a vertical foregrip or a MagPul grip, as I found it a bit hard to hang on to. Secondly, the mag relase is in the bottom of the pistol grip, not my favourite location for such a thing. 

Kel-Tec RMR-30 receiver

Other than that, though, I’m a total fanboy for this gun. Can’t wait to get one into my hands and wring it out for myself. 

The other gun that caught my in Kel-Tec’s booth was their SU-16E: A version of their venerable SU-16 rifle with an adapter for an AR-15 stock

Kel-Tec SU-16

Again, this is a very light rifle compared to other rifles in its class, primarily because it uses polymers in for the entire receiver, not just the lower part as in my CavArms AR

SU-16 Receiver

The SU-16 is an unsung hero of the AR world: It used a piston-drived action long before it was cool and takes standard AR magazines. It’s on my “will buy list” as a trunk / bug out gun, and the AR stock adapter makes it even more attractive. 

The biggest problem Kel-Tec seems to have is managing their success: The RMR-30 was announced last year at SHOT and they’re still not in your local gun shop. Not a bad problem to have, but it needs to be addressed in order for these groundbreaking guns can get into the consumer’s hands.

 

SHOT Show Ubërpost *

Thanks for everyone stopping by from CZ-USA.  I tend to write about owning and shooting CZ’s, so if you like them too, you’ve come to the right place. The blog home page is here, and you can follow me on Twitter here.

Just over one day is in the bag at SHOT Show, and let me explain what’s happened so far. 

No, there is no time, let me sum up. 

Tuesday:

Drove up to Las Vegas from Phoenix on Tuesday, walked over to the Sands Expo, turned around, and who should be there but the guru of gun laws himself, Alan Korwin

Alan Korwin

I was unbelievably fortunate to run into him right off the bat, as he was able to give me the low-down on how to deal with the unbelievably overwhelming experience that is SHOT Show. As I said on Twitter, take the biggest gun show you’ve been to, then double it, then double it again and add more guns. 

These banners were over the main hall: This gives you an idea of the SIZE of this place. 

SHOT Show banners

And right after I took that shot, Louis Awerbuck walked past. And that was just the beginning… 

Next, it was off to Brownell’s booth to pick up my ticket for the 3 Gun Nation event tonight (more on that later), a sweep through the floors, and then off to the Café Lux for blogger meetup. 

Attendees: 

Alan Korwin, Jay G., Dr. Gene Harris, Jeff and Chris Knox of The Firearms Coalition, Mr. Completely, Galen Geer, Chas Clifton, Dan from Gunlink.info, Dennis from Gunpsec.com, Todd King, The Hoss, Tom from MyGunculture, Angela from LuckyGunner, Mz. VRWC, Balloon Goes Up and the inestimable Larry Weeks. Drinks were ordered, food was consumed, and much fun was had. I’d say we stayed until the place shut down, but it’s Vegas and there’s no such thing as shutting a bar down… 

Oh, and as we’re waiting for people to show up, Sheriff Jim Wilson walked by. Cool. 

Wednesday. 

Dan of GunUp did a BANG UP of arranging meetings with manufacturers on the showroom, and the first one was with Colt at 10am sharp. 

So naturally I got lost in the Palazzo/Venetian/Sands complex and arrived there at 10:10 (fortunately, that wasn’t an issue). Colt has decided to stop resting on their laurels, and they’re coming out with some nifty little firearms this year. The one that caught my eye was their Modular Carbine. 

Colt Modular Carbine

The controls on this are what makes it so special. I’m cross-eye dominant, which means I’m right-handed but left-eyed, and regular AR’s give me heartburn. The beauty of this gun is that it doesn’t matter: All the controls can be operated equally easily be left-handed and right handed shooters. 

Neat-o. Plus they have a pencil-barreled 16″ flat-top that weighs just a hair over 5 pounds. The thing is lighter than just about any AR you can think of and it’d make an excellent bugout gun. 

Lightweight Colt

Then it was off to CZ. I resisted the urge to circle their booth 7 times and murmur “I confess there are no designers but Josef and František Koucký and Jeff Cooper is their prophet“, but only barely… 

I’ve been frustrated with CZ-USA’s marketing for YEARS. They make superb guns, and yet their market share in the US is horrid. Heck, up until a few years ago, their website didn’t work with Macs. 

Not no more. Jason of CZ-USA welcomed we bloggers with open arms, and he was very eager to show off my carry gun of choice, the CZ P07 Duty plus drop a few hints as to what’s coming down the line from CZ in polymer pistols. 

CZ P07 Duty

He also showed us the 455 line, CZ-USA’s replacement for the 452 rifles, one of the most popular and most accurate .22 single shots out there. The 455 has a nifty quick-change system, allowing one rifle to shoot a number of different calibers quickly and easily. 

CZ 455

And something that had me slapping my head and saying “Of course! Why didn’t anyone think of this before!”, namely, a semi-auto shotgun that ships with an adjustable stock, the 712. 

CZ 712

Then it was lunch with Mz. VRWC from Great Satan Inc and Angela with Lucky Gunner, and at 2pm GunUp had us with meet together at Glock, where I got a chance to meet Kenn Blanchard, aka A Black Man With A Gun

Now, I am not a big fan of Glocks. I find that they don’t point right for me, and I’ve not seen the need to change my grip and practice with a Glock just cause they’ve decided that guns should shaped THEIR way, not the way that guns have been shaped for decades. Not no more: Glock has come up with add-on beavertail for Gen 4 Glocks that not only helps with Glock slide bite, but also changes the grip angle to bring it more in-line with the rest of the firearms world. 

Glock Beavertail

I can dig it. A lot. It’s ALMOST enough to get me to want to buy a Glock. Almost. 

Then finally, tonight, it was out to the 3 Gun Nation finale at the Clark County Shooting Range, one of the nicest outdoor ranges I’ve seen. Who won the shutoff? Mike Seeklander, with an M1903 Springfield, course. 🙂

And now, bed, and do it all over again tomorrow! 

* “Ubërpost” is copyrighted 2007, The Smallest Minority. Used without any permission whatsoever…