brands during wartime
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 10, 2011 07:00 PM
In the race of brands looking to capitalize on the death of Osama bin Laden, we have a winner.
As details of the terrorist leader's death, and the SEAL team that shot him in the face, continue to come to light, Beretta Defense Technologies issued a statement. The weaponsmaker said it "wishes to thank the brave men of Navy SEAL Team Six who, together with our warfighters, selflessly risk their lives each day to make this world a safer place."
The statement comes complete with a banner ad that celebrates the "job well done" by SEAL team six. Of course, several commenters have pointed out one irony.
The full ad:
While thanking the SEAL team for making "this world a safer place," the brand doesn't pass up the opportunity to mention its own SEAL role:
"Beretta shares a close association with the U.S military, particularly Navy SEAL Team Six, having intimately collaborated with members of the team during the initial design phase of what would become the venerable M9, the official sidearm of the U.S. Armed Forces. The SEALS recognized Beretta’s skill, experience, research capabilities and resources, and it is those same benchmarks that Beretta Defense Technologies continues to utilize today as they strive to serve those who defend freedom around the world."
See, indirectly, Beretta took out Osama bin Laden!
The ad offered the opportunity on gun blogs for a competitor's brand to get a little effortless advertising of its own. As one commenter noted, "This is QUITE humorous considering their official sidearm is a Sig [Sauer] not a Beretta." Indeed, while the Beretta has long been the sidearm of many military agencies, the SEALs use a Sig Sauer model.
In fact, in 2004 Sigarms released a limited edition serialized Navy SEAL P226-9-NAVY firearm with up to $100,000 of the proceeds going to the
Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The pistols were manufactured to the same specifications as those supplied to SEAL teams.
But the irony of Beretta and the SEALs runs deeper than that.
Military lore has it that while testing the Beretta models for adoption as the group's sidearm, several incidents of loads forcing a slide separation occurred, resulting in some members getting smashed in the face by the gun's parts. For years now, legend has floated around of a SEAL motto "You're not a SEAL until you taste Italian steel," referring to the Beretta brand's Italian heritage.
Nonetheless, the debate about the Beretta and the Sig, with reference to the SEALs, continues to rage on gun discussion boards.