According to a previously unpublished review conducted by Pathmatics, a company that gathers data from online ads, the National Rifle Association increased their digital advertising spending sixfold just days after the Parkland, Florida shooting. After immediately halting their advertising on digital platforms in light of the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 children and teachers, the NRA returned with four days and paid big to get their message out.
In the 24 days prior to the Parkland shooting, the NRA spent a daily average of $11,300. In the 24 days following their brief self-imposed silence, the average increased to $47,300. The organization focused their efforts primarily on Facebook, where daily spending jumped from $4,400 to $34,000.
“From an advertising perspective, it’s interesting because this event energized the NRA’s base,” Pathmatics CEO Gabriel Gottlieb told the Chicago Tribune. “But from the tone-deafness of the response, I’m very surprised.”
Some of the more disturbing aspects of their recent digital advertising push is that Florida was heavily targeted since the incident. Pathmatics also discovered that the NRA’s marketing initiative has even extended to children with ads appearing on a YouTube channel for grade schoolers called Kids’ Toys. While their message has remained the same since the increase in daily spending, their overall goal appears to be targeting anyone at any age in an effort to spike membership.