Zach Blenkinsopp, co-owner of the Alabama-based Digital Roofing Solutions, is pictured in a still from a July 4, 2017, video offering customers a free AR-15 with the purchase of a new roof. The company is giving $500 vouchers to a local gun range each time a new roof is installed.
Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A north Alabama roofing company has gone viral with a Fourth of July video ad that has a studly Uncle Sam offering prospective customers a free AR-15 with every new roof.
Digital Roofing Innovations’ Uncle Sam -- who wears tight star-spangled shorts, a red bow tie, a striped hat and little else -- is co-owner Zach Blenkinsopp, who created the ad with his business partner, Chris McGuire. The ad, posted on Tuesday to the Decatur company’s Facebook page, begins with Blenkinsopp stepping out of a car and yelling for a beer, which is tossed to him by someone off-camera.
“Whoo, America, baby!” Blenkinsopp shouts before downing the beer and tossing the can aside. “Don’t recycle that, because recycling’s stupid.”
Blenkinsopp goes on to tell viewers that the company is offering one free semi-automatic rifle for each roof they install.
“You know, Donald Trump says, ‘Make America Great Again,’” Blenkinsopp says. “I say, ‘Make America Gun Again.’ MAGA.”
Blenkinsopp, who describes himself as an eight-year Navy veteran, tells his audience that, while people may think the ad is a gimmick, it is not.
“My roofing company’s not a gimmick, and this baby’s not either. It’s here to protect you and your family,” he says.
McGuire said Friday that the company’s offer is legitimate. While the company cannot hand out the weapons to its customers, it is offering a $500 voucher to a local gun range where recipients can use it to buy the semi-automatic or another weapon of their choice.
“They have to go through all the legal requirements that anyone goes through to buy a gun,” McGuire said. “(The amount) is the lowest price we found on an AR-15. It is an entry level AR-15, but they can go and buy what they want.”
The reaction to the video, which has been viewed more than 200,000 times on Facebook and has received national attention, has been mixed, McGuire said. Many people have found it funny, praising the marketing strategy taken by McGuire and Blenkinsopp, who has a background in digital marketing.
McGuire said that he’s also heard from many gun control advocates, but that he and Blenkinsopp were ready for the potential backlash.
“If you make a video like that and share it on the Fourth of July, I think you know what you’re going to get,” McGuire said.