Have you ever seen a deal where you buy a car and get something free? Is a free lunch or tickets to an event enough to make you want to run down and buy a car?
A Ford dealership in Alabama used that classic marketing technique this week, but instead of a free hotdog or free movie tickets, they were offering a free shotgun. But once corporate America got involved, the promotion was terminated.
Chatom Ford, of Chatom, Alabama, was offering a free bible, 12 gauge shotgun, and an American flag with the purchase of any new or used car or truck. Here’s the listing from their Facebook page (which has since been removed).
GOD, GUNS, AND FREEDOM
CELEBRATING JULY 4th FROM NOW UNTIL JULY 31 HERE AT CHATOM FORD!!! EVERY VEHICLE PURCHASED NEW OR PREOWNED WILL COME WITH A BIBLE, 12 GAUGE SHOT GUN, AND AMERICAN FLAG!! THIS IS A SMALL GIFT TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS AND A OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE ….. DONT MISS OUT ON THE GREAT DEALS AND GIFTS WAITING ON YOU HERE!!!! CALL, CLICK, OR TEXT FOR MORE DETAILS!!! #chatomford
must be 18 or older, have valid id, can legally purchase a vehicle, and pass all checks associated with owning a fire arm in state of residency”Chatom Ford Facebook page, (sic)
In the first three days, Chatom Ford reports selling five vehicles based on this promotion, and many more calls and lots of interest.
Customers buying a car could leave the lot with the car, the Bible, and the flag, but they had to take a certificate to a specific local firearms dealer to obtain the shotgun after the typical background check process.
Unfortunately (though unsurprisingly), Ford Motor Company asked Chatom to end the promotion and remove the ads. The promotion was expected to run for 5 weeks but was cut short after just three days. Apparently, the gun giveaway didn’t sit well with them. Ford didn’t comment on the reasons, however.
Chatom Ford has switched to giving away a $200 gift certificate instead of the shotgun — which customers can then use to buy a shotgun on their own.
It seems that if there was a place in the country where a dealer could pull this off, Alabama would be it. Even though customers had to go to a licensed firearm dealer and go through the federally mandated procedure to buy a firearm, Ford Motor Company still wouldn’t let the local dealer run with this promotion. It’s unknown whether Ford Motor Company compensated Chatom Ford for revenues lost.
How about you? Would the offer of a ‘free’ shotgun be enough to entice you to buy a vehicle?