Local Gunmaker Aiming For Insurrectionist Market?

NEWINGTON, N.H.—Gun manufacturer Sig Sauer, one of the area’s largest employers, recently launched a new advertising campaign for a five-year old product. The ominous tone of the ad suggests that, for the company’s marketing team, civil discord equals profit.

Dubbed the “M400 TREAD,” the semi-automatic firearm is yet another knockoff of the Colt AR-15—dubbed “America’s Rifle” by the NRA. TREAD is shorthand, of course, for “Don’t Tread on Me.” About 20 million of these generic murdersticks are already in circulation. Adding a few tens of thousands more with Sig Sauer’s logo probably won’t matter much—except, of course, to any individuals who might be “directly impacted” by them.

What’s new—and, frankly, startling—about Sig Sauer’s advertising campaign is how directly it states its premise: someday, destiny may call upon you—presuming you’re a brave and stalwart patriot—to shoot and kill any number of U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, state or local cops, or, for all we know, members of your local homeowners association.

The world may be going to hell—i.e., your neighbors may not look exactly like you—but not to worry. For under $900, you, too, can strut around wielding seven pounds of black rifle badassery. And if some blue-helmeted UN punk gives you any guff, your magazine holds 30 rounds of the same 5.56 mm NATO ammunition he’s got. Now it’s just a question of who’s got better body armor.

The ad was apparently posted to Sig Sauer’s official YouTube channel in late January. Titled “The New Face of Freedom,” it was viewed more than half a million times in its first three weeks. And no wonder: the ad’s production values are first-rate. Its various elements work together in harmony. The concept is so fully realized we nearly saluted.

Scene: A dark night, a full moon partially obscured by cloud. In the background, a sailing ship docked in a harbor, evoking the Boston Tea Party. Foreground: Deadly serious looking man with a beard. In his left hand he holds a lantern aloft. In his right is a flintlock rifle. Soundtrack: a muffled drumbeat like a rapidly beating heart. Voiceover, [deep baritone throughout]: “As Americans, we have always despised tyranny.”

Scene: A dimly-lit yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, with coiled rattlesnake, fading to a stubble-bearded man wearing a tricorn hat. A torch is in his right hand, a musket in his left. Fade to another snake flag, this time depicting Benjamin Franklin’s “Unite or Die” propaganda cartoon. Voiceover: “Our freedoms, cast on altar of sacrifice, were born from a desire to unite.”

Scene: Parade ground at night, lit by bonfire. A standing soldier in red-trimmed uniform holds a flintlock at port arms. Soundtrack: Dramatic rising tone. Voiceover: “Those freedoms have been challenged before, yet they have stood the test of time.”

Scene: A man clad in jeans, flannel shirt, and ball cap, in front of a ranch-style porch, holding an M400 TREAD. Voiceover: “Today, our freedom is once again in question, and its future is not promised. To those who would restrict our freedom, we say only this… SHALL. NOT. BE. INFRINGED.”

During each of the last four words of this grand finale, an ominous bass drum beats once, as the previously-seen faces flash by.

YouTube gives out Works Awards to the “most effective and creative advertising campaigns” on the site. If this ad doesn’t win one, we’ll know the game was rigged. Should that happen, will Sig Sauer sue? Or just hand out M400s to the workforce and march on… wherever?

Unsurprisingly, many viewers have been inspired to comment:

@austinellis7465 wrote, “Bald eagles driving nascars while drinking budweiser just flew out of my goosebumps.”

@HyperboreanJihad was less enthusiastic, writing, “Now how quickly is this gonna explode or some other catastrophic malfunction like your pistols[?]”

@dakotawindom: “While you’re supplying the military with the .308s they’ll use to kill us. Nice.”

@Shannonmm: “This is a Swiss company advertising a weapon using staples of American history. This is the most American thing I’ve seen today[.]”

Leave a Comment