Daniel Defense sells guns. They had this crazy idea that Super Bowl viewers might be members of the demographic that buys guns. So they looked up the Super Bowl’s stated guidelines for advertisements, and they made a commercial they thought fit the guidelines. Nope. The Super Bowl rejected the ad, and pretty unequivocally.
The ad, which you can view here, is pretty harmless. A narrator provides a combat veteran’s inner voice as we see him, fresh home from active military service, coming into his house, hugging his wife (with a kind of awkward “we’re an actor couple” shoulder embrace), hearing his baby on the baby monitor, then picking up and holding his baby. Background music (that sounds like it was recycled from a lost episode of House, M. D.) comes to a climax as the narrator tells us that he has chosen to use the most effective tool available for defending his family. Then cut to “Daniel Defense” on a black screen with an AR-15 vector graphic underneath it. Aside from the graphic (which Daniel Defense offered to replace with an American flag), no direct mention is made of firearms.
Cheesy? A little. But, aside from the fact that Daniel Defense sells guns, the NFL really had no reason to reject it. For your reference, their guidelines run thusly:
Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunitions (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons.
The ad does loosely fit this criteria. Daniel Defense primarily sells guns and gun accessories, but they do also sell other stuff (apparel and whatnot). But one wonders why these advertising stipulations are even in place. Companies advertise war movies and violent video games (with plenty of gun-toting) during the Super Bowl. And football itself is not exactly daisy chain approved. It’s a game centered on grown men smashing into each other repeatedly.
I know the NFL doesn’t want to court controversy. I get that. And this is not a First Amendment issue. The NFL is not Congress. The NFL can put a silencer on Daniel Defense all it wants in its own privately-run forum. But I think this move is hypocritical and silly.
On a brighter note, Daniel Defense is getting a huge amount of free advertisement because their commercial was rejected by the NFL. Brilliant!