Gaerner, wy – Many companies offer incentives to new customers in order to get them to choose their business over the competition.
But one Powell company went a step further – by offering a free AR-15 weapon for every new roof.
Matt Thomas is the director of marketing at Wiggins Construction in Powell. He says that in their business they noticed a number of people who moved to Wyoming to experience a level of freedom they may not have felt in their home state. According to Thomas, the company’s owners assumed that giving away something unique – like an AR-15 rifle – could generate some interest and give them an edge over their competition.
“People are moving to Wyoming to leave the cities, to break out of regulation, and not to live in fear anymore,” says Thomas. “We’re only offering it as if it was a welcome gift to Wyoming for the people who recently moved to Wyoming, and just a thank you for their business for the people who are here, locals.”
And it’s a gift that is sure to grab attention. Thomas says they have received some very targeted feedback on their offering.
“We have calls from all over the US and the world asking us to make a roof. Someone sent a message from the UK, “Hey, come on, put my roof on, you know we can’t own an AR-15 here.” And so there is a bit of humor behind it. “
But not all of the attention is positive.
“We get calls, voicemails, from people saying all sorts of negative things about us, you know, things like ‘baby killers’ and ‘we’re distributing weapons of mass destruction to the public,'” says Thomas.
And at a time of increasing attention to gun regulation, says Thomas, their advertising has caught the attention of the national news media.
“From Cowboy State Daily it went to the US. Today it was passed on to Yahoo. We went to Fox twice,” he says. “The Sun, UK Times, in the UK wrote about it. A Russian newspaper published an article about it in Russia and we have no idea what it says because we don’t read Russian. “
The promotion started on April 12th and Thomas says they have already booked over 15 roofing jobs during this period with the aim of placing 150 more by the end of the promotion.
“As long as our government does nothing to prevent us from buying more guns for free, we expect between 150 and 200 giveaways for guns by the end of the year,” projects Thomas.
And they’ve expanded the promotion to appeal to potential customers who may not be in the market for an AR-15.
“If you don’t want the gun, we’ll donate $ 800 to Serenity (Pregnancy Resource Center) in Park County, either on your behalf or on behalf of our company,” said Thomas. “That’s even more than the real cost of the gun, just because it’s a thing that we really stand behind and something.”
However, he points out that the action is not a shortcut for people looking for a way to get their hands on a semi-automatic rifle – there are very important rules and regulations that the company adheres to.
“While Wyoming is the only state in the United States that doesn’t have arms transfer laws,” explains Thomas, “we just want to make sure that everything we’ve done was above average. So our attorney created a form stating that he is over the age of 21, that he is not a convicted criminal, and that he agrees to abide by all state and federal gun laws. And then they’ll sign this form, and we’ll take the rifle’s serial number and put it on the ownership transfer form. “
But Thomas says that while the promotion hits the bull’s eye with gun aficionados, the company didn’t come up with the idea of a gun giveaway to capitalize on people’s fears.
“If the government says, ‘Hey, this is no longer legal,” we will stop our promotions – we want to be above average, and all of that, “he said. “We just wanted to put something tangible in their hands, other than just a thank you card.”