Despite the oft-repeated phrase “all publicity is good publicity,” most people with common sense know this is not true. (Emphasis on people with common sense.) But today more than ever, some believe that as long as something goes viral, gets re-tweets and “starts a conversation,” it has accomplished something significant and made a difference.
I was reminded how untrue this is by a new gun safety ad from the organization Evolve that has gone viral and inspired a lot of laughter, winks, and figurative high-fives from the left. What the ad is unlikely to inspire, however, is any meaningful attention from the audience that actually matters.
The PSA, which you can watch here, features two young boys playing with adult sex toys. The narration eventually says, “If they find it, they’ll play with it. So always lock up your gun.”
Based on this language it stands to reason that the target audience for this PSA would be those who actually own guns. Gallup’s 2012 analysis of five years’ worth of interviews with more than 6,000 Americans provide some of the most comprehensive insight into our country’s gun owners ever conducted. The analysis found that gun ownership is significantly higher among those who identify as politically conservative than those who identify as politically liberal.
Other significant indicators for owning a gun: being male, being Southern, and being married. Being Southern and conservative are not adjectives that describe someone likely to find dildo humor funny.