Cradle to grave: The gun makers’ new marketing strategy

Photo illustration by Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Any fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” knows, you never want to waste a round killing one zombie, unless you want to attract a whole zombie army.

In his new Rolling Stone cover story titled: “The Gun Industry’s Deadly Addiction: Firearms manufacturers are betting their future in the military-style weapons used in Newtown and Aurora,” Tim Dickinson delves into the new marketing tactics being used to get more military-style weaponry into the hands of Americans. But with an overall decline in gun ownership, how does one entice a more diverse market?

According to Dickinson’s article, the gun industry’s winning formula has been to sex-up the appeal of  gun ownership for women, rile up the doomsday preppers, shut down legislation that would seek to tighten a black market that traffics across the Mexican border, transform shooting ranges into live-action amusement parks, and get the kids excited about it.

A company called Zombie Industries have got at least three of the five marketing strategies within their scope. The company invites enthusiasts to “Destroy the Undead” and that “the only way to kill a zombie” is to “destroy the brain!”, this of course, next to an Osama Bin Laden target blown to shreds.

Accompanying videos on the website show a young markswoman as she “obliterates” a zombie target that oozes fluorescent blood upon impact.

The young lady, outfitted in pink ear muffs, uses several high-powered weapons (some almost as tall as she is) to take deadly aim.

In light of the string of recent shootings, where is the line between an amusement sport and seriousness of handling of fatal weapons?

That’s not a question gun manufacturers care to answer, because this new strategy is apparently paying off. Ammunition sales alone have them stockpiling cash. Dickinson cites the fact that an AR-15 can fire up to 400 rounds per minute, at a cost of 40 cents per bullet—a mere $160 dollars a minute. Add to that the $489 million in revenue from the sale of assault weapons, which have doubled from five years ago.

As one maker of ammunition puts it “…business has never been better for all of us.”

As for the zombies, preppers should hope they spent enough to obliterate the un-dead, should the apocalypse come down upon us.

Watch Martin’s interview with Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson:


Cradle to grave: The gun makers’ new marketing strategy