an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Proud Supporters of Education: Now With Guns!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 3, 2009

This is a page from a local Austin, TX newspaper with small ads for several different places all under one heading.  The edges are cut off because the ad was a little bit too large for the scanner, but all of the words and all of the participating ads can be seen.  Only the large blue border that surrounded the entire thing was cut off.

Proud Supporters of Education 1

I totally understand why this kind of group ad page is done.  It allows the companies to ally themselves with a cause the community cares about, thus fostering goodwill, and makes the overall ad-buy for each company cheaper.  That all makes sense.

Usually, though, the businesses listed tend to be at least somewhat targeted to the people who you would most expect to care about the fact that the business supports the cause.  Thus, for schools you see things like after school activities (karate classes), academic organizations (tutors, private schools), back-to-school sales on clothing and school supplies, and pediatricians (the doctors who give the required check-ups and vaccines for kids to attend school).  All those are present here.

The gun store ad right in the middle?  That one has me stumped.  I was under the impression that guns weren’t allowed in or even too terribly near schools.  Of course, maybe Texas has different laws than I’m used to.  But still… guns and schools don’t seem to me to mix.

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4 Responses to “Proud Supporters of Education: Now With Guns!”

  1. I think it’s a cultural thing. For some people, going to the shooting range or hunting is an after school activity. Some schools may even have a shooting club. I suspect you’d find similar ads in the more rural parts of Wisconsin. Opinions on guns in the hands of younger children seem to be highly correlated to how urban an area is.

  2. rosepixie said

    Honestly, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if it had been for a shooting range, or if the gun pictured had been a hunting rifle. But it wasn’t either of those things. It’s for a firearms consignment shop and it’s showing a handgun. That just doesn’t jive with kids or schools in my mind at all.

  3. Eva said

    I agree with you that it’s pretty jarring to our eyes, but I suspect that Alan’s intuition is correct. They probably just plugged in one of their normal advertisements without really thinking about the juxtaposition that might look weird to people who aren’t steeped in their hobby. I’d also point out that a “shooting club” can also include target shooting, which very much does include handguns. 😉

  4. Rosepixie said

    The ad isn’t for a “shooting club”, though. There’s no mention of them having target ranges or anything. It’s just a shop that buys and sells guns. Like I said, if it was a shooting range or showed a hunting rifle, I probably wouldn’t have minded so much, but it comes off really weird as it is.

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