The NRA's Plan for Supporters to Turn Their YETI Gear Into NRA Promotional Items
After YETI Coolers cut ties with the NRA, supporters of the organization retaliated by peacefully disposing of their YETI products. Wait, no—they shot them and blew them up.
In a message to members on Tuesday, NRA past president Marion P. Hammer offered a less dangerous solution: stickers.
"Approximately 100,000 free stickers, proudly displaying the message 'I STAND WITH THE NRA FOUNDATION,' were distributed at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas last week," the letter said. "These stickers were designed to cover up the YETI name on YETI coolers. They show that you stand with the NRA Foundation after YETI made the political decision to stop doing business with the NRA Foundation."
Hammer goes on to recount the association's previous advice, which smartly advised:
Don’t blow up your YETI cooler. Don’t shoot your YETI cooler full of holes. Don’t chain your YETI cooler to the back of your pick-up truck and drag it down the highway. Don’t glue a toilet seat to YETI cooler. Don’t hang your YETI cooler in a tree and beat it with a baseball bat.
"Put a big 'I STAND WITH THE NRA FOUNDATION' sticker on your YETI cooler and keep using it," Hammer continued. "They cost too much money to destroy to make a statement. Let a sticker make your statement."
There are a few things to unpack here. First, the decision to keep YETI products intact shows that even an association riled up about political differences can acknowledge when a product is worth holding on to. From a promotional standpoint, it reinforces the belief that end-users will hold onto a promotional product if its useful and high quality.
The other angle, from a promotional standpoint, is that the NRA is using stickers to effectively repurpose and rebrand people's existing outdoor and drinkware products into promotional items for the NRA. This shows that the NRA takes brand awareness seriously, and it's a pretty creative solution for a clearly receptive audience.
While blowing up a cooler or tumbler may or may not be fun to do (please do not blow up coolers and tumblers) it's not good for a long-lasting promotion. You just end up with a bunch of pieces of plastic scattered across your lawn (and possibly serious injuries) or a very expensive tumbler full of holes.
The NRA is going to continue handing out the stickers for their YETI boycott (or is it a forceful rebrand?) at Friends of NRA Banquets and Auctions across the U.S. this year.
It's worth mentioning, however, that YETI has an extremely litigious past, and has never shied away from protecting its brand. It's faced off against retail giants like Walmart and won. So, it's not absurd to imagine it won't take kindly to the NRA turning its products into unlicensed promotional gear out of retaliation. Whether the company has any legal recourse there, we're not sure.