A gunmaker’s commercial that the National Football League’s rules prohibit from being broadcast during the Super Bowl is still going viral, and the ad’s creator says the company created the spot not only to promote the business, but to champion Second Amendment rights.
Daniel Defense, a manufacturer from Georgia, attempted to buy Super Bowl advertising time in several local media markets in November, but the ad was rejected because of NFL prohibitions against ads with “firearms, ammunition, or other weapons,” reports ABC News.
The NFL allows advertising from stores that sell firearms and ammunition, such as outdoor or camping stores, as long as the businesses sell other products and the ads don’t mention firearms, ammunition, or other weapons.
Daniel Defense Director of Marketing Jordan Hunter told ABC that the company did all it could to meet the NFL’s guidelines, and the advertisement does not show guns or alcohol.
“This was a branding thing for Daniel Defense definitely, but we wanted to create an ad that was a constitutional ad,” he said.
In the spot, an actor playing a Marine Corps veteran and young father is seen with his wife and baby while declaring, “My family’s safety is my highest priority. I am responsible for their protection and no one has the right to tell me how to defend them.”
The ad ends with a background voice saying, “Daniel Defense. Defending your nation, defending your home.”
NFL Vice President for Communications Brian McCarthy told ABC News that the NFL never saw or heard of the ad before news broke about it, but accused Daniel Defense of pushing the controversy to “gain exposure for this ad.”
Hunter, a former Marine, inspired the ad’s plot, and the actor chosen to play the husband was a Marine reservist.
“I made the commercial and it is based on real life,” Hunter said. “I served in the Marine Corps, I got out, I’ve got a daughter and I’ve got a family.”
The ad has gotten more than 100,000 hits on YouTube, giving Daniel Defense a national platform without it having to pay steep Super Bowl ad costs.
Hunter acknowledges that this past year has been a tough one for the gun industry, with emotions running raw after the Sandy Hook school shootings and other incidences of gun violence.
“We understand that some very real things have happened this year… people with mental health issues have done some very real things,” Hunter said.