Ammunition Marketing

The New York Times has an interesting article on target marketing in the realm of Ammunition.

In the article they mention how the use of TV ads, fancy packaging, webisodes, and celebrity endorsement have worked when creating a new “brand” of ammo.

The article focuses on Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and their fancy marketing with their Federal brands Fusion and Black Cloud.

Full article – HERE

Here is the “duck suit” video for black Cloud that was mentioned in the article:



In the article, Jason Nash (an ATK communications and events manager) calls the video “Viral”.  I would hardly call that video viral, considering it has been out since August 2009 and only has 103 views! LOL   Maybe its more popular on their own website, or on another video sharing network?  I get more views than that a day on my company’s videos.

As always, I am glad to see the New York Times not refer to hunting or shooting in a bad light.  They could have easily resorted to talk of “cop killer” bullets, but chose not to.

When ever I think of ammunition advertising, this image always pops into my head:

The graphics are so garish and the scene is so ridiculous with the lightening, explosions and fake “agents”, it’s hard to forget.  I have never used extreme shock, so I have no comment on its actual effectiveness… but I’m sure they sell more than a couple boxes just because of the way it stands out in the crowd.  The only thing that ad is missing is some girls in picatinny railed bikinis.

You can check out their extreme website HERE… not recommended for children under the age of 16 and people with heart conditions.  (I kid I kid… :P)


14 responses to “Ammunition Marketing”

  1. Jeremiah Avatar

    Those extreme shock ads crack me up. As far as I can figure, “NyTrilium” is some kind of sintered metal combination (ads say tungsten — but bullet weight would be quite high if it was 100% tungsten). Some companies are stating these frangible rounds explode into a fine metal powder when striking the target and create huge wounds. I guess I am waiting for the formal review by someone. To be fair, I load Glasers in my .45 and these do actually break apart, but those actually contain many tiny, uniform balls — sintered rounds are just compressed metal dust.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Maybe its like one of those barnes varmint grenades! Those are pretty savage on prairie dogs.

      I think weight retention would be better for self defense consider it would create a larger wound channel and hopefully disable the attacker faster.

  2. Since we’re talking viral videos here, I’ll assume a few of you have heard of Powerthirst. A while back, when the Powerthirst meme was strong, a few buddies and I discovered the Extreme Shock brand and website…and took to reading the ad copy out loud in Powerthirst style. It struck us funny, as the two seem to have the same level of sophistication in marketing.

    What’s sad is, the sports drink-style marketing hides the science behind the Extreme Shock claims, which is not entirely irrational. Basically, as I understand it, the idea is that the rotational energy of a bullet is wasted in conventional ammo. Since their rounds disintegrate, that energy is imparted once inside the target by way of centrifugal force converting angular momentum to linear momentum (sorry for any errors, physics majors). It’s kind of like the magic the 5.56 bullet can do in terms of yaw/disintegration, but ostensibly it’s less of a happy coincidence and more disintegration-by-design. Considering 5.56mm rounds, for instance, can spin at 300,000 rpm, that energy may not be insubstantial. However, since momentum is directly proportional to mass, you have to really wonder if there’s enough momentum in metal dust at any velocity to cause real damage (mass * velocity is momentum, and momentum^2/2*mass equates to kinetic energy).

    Certainly, their claim is counterintuitive. If shedding mass or disintegration were always a good quality in ammunition, why would ammunition makers place such a premium on weight retention? (Because we know penetration is critical, that’s why.) Of course, just because Extreme Shock is challenging a long-standing terminal ballistics zeitgeist doesn’t make them wrong…but a picture of a hole in clay and a dead boar on their site doesn’t make them right, either. Anyone know of any independent tests performed with this ammunition?

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      LOL powerthirst… yea that video is amazing! Definitely parallels the Extreme Shock ads.

      Yea I’m not so sure about the effectiveness of disintegration.. I know it works on small animals (as I mentioned in my reply to the previous comment) but on humans I agree with you on weight retention.

  3. Oh jeez, I should have Googled first…Jeremiah, you might want to see this, too:

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      interesting, thanks for the link Dom… that site always delivers!

  4. At first i was suspicious of the extreme shocks graphics. Then I though it was a joke. Now I’m not sure.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Yea I haven’t figured that out either. Their website is definitely serious.

  5. The ammo could be the best in the world, but I cringe and turn the page ASAP when I see that ad. Shudder…

  6. I really don’t care how well the ammo works. At that price it doesn’t matter. I’m not spending that much for it.

  7. I thought maybe the ammunition community learned some marketing lessons with the PR spanking Winchester got over the “Black Talon”.

    Evidentially Extreme shock hasn’t. I think you can get your point across to the “community” without the “over the top, arm chair commando” hyperbole and graphics

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      I think you can get your point across to the “community” without the “over the top, arm chair commando” hyperbole and graphics

      I’d like to agree with you, but judging by a lot of the people I see (and hear talking) in gun stores, they probably LOVE advertising like that, and fall for every bit of it.

      I think it mainly isn’t effective on those of us that actually are interested in performance, and spend time looking into reviews and specs on the internet and magazines etc.. rather than just buying the ammo with the fanciest package and/or most outlandish claims.

  8. bikeman Avatar

    ok, I know this is old, but I’m in Iraq and bored…

    That add actually looks like an old Blackhawk Industries poster. I’m actually pretty dang sure the “agents” are from Blackhawk advertising… anyways…

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Really? I’m pretty sure blackhawk isn’t affiliated with Extreme Shock… but maybe those are not their own pictures, maybe they are just purchased stock photos? That would explain it if you say the same agents are on the old blackhawk advertising.