When my sister-in-law visited recently, she brought the latest issue of the magazine Garden & Gun. Yes, that’s what I said—Garden & Gun. And while this pairing might at first seem the teeniest bit unlikely, the magazine has been around since 2007 and now boasts over a million readers. When I thought about that level of success, it dawned on me that Americans regard guns as something like bacon and cheese: everything can be made better by adding them. Who wants a plain old bun-and-patty garden mag when you can have a bacon cheeseburger? Almost nobody. So because of America’s nearly insatiable appetite for “bacon and cheese,” I propose the creation of several new magazines published on the model of Garden & Gun. Why not tap into what is clearly a much bigger market?
A smart first step would be to create similar spin-offs of Garden & Gun, such as Stamen & Pistol, Hollyhocks & Handguns, or Guns ‘n’ Roses. This last one could be packaged with a bonus music CD.
Then several brand new markets could be “targeted.”
Run & Gun—“For the Active Shooter.” Jogging down a street is boring. But jogging down a street with an assault rifle–now that’s interesting!
Camera & Gun—“How to Shoot Wildlife.” Filled with tips on capturing the perfect image of beautiful fauna right before popping a cap in its ass. Tie-in possible with a new product: a rifle with a barrel-mounted camera that doubles as the scope; the trigger would also snap the pic. This function would be touted as the “snapshot” feature. So many possibilities here I shutter to think.
K-9’s & M-16’s—“For Lovers of Dogs and Destruction.” Semper Fido.
Horse & Trigger—“Shooting’s Even More Fun When You’re Mounted.” Catering to cowboys, cowgirls, cavalry, mounties, Roy Rogers fans, and fans of both kinds of Colts.
Women & Weapons. No subtitle needed. This magazine could have a sister publication, Victoria’s Secret Arsenal—“Lingerie and Lasers.” So revealing that half the magazine will be redacted, but only the weaponry portion will be top secret, thus filling the niche being vacated by the soon-to-be-nudeless Playboy.
Kitchen & Kalashnikov—“Killer Menus and Killer Men”
Sweat & Bullets—“Exercise Your Body AND Your 2nd-Amendment Rights.” The title is something every American can identify with.
Finally, established magazines that already have name recognition can build on their reputations and increase subscriptions and sales with just a few tiny tweaks. For example, Time magazine could devote more coverage to mass and accidental shootings and retitle itself Time & Time Again.
Herewith some other possibilities:
U.S. News & Loud Report
Life & Death
Look & Shoot
Poets & Fighters
MAD, Armed, & Dangerous
Oxford American Sniper
Field & Scream
People & Other Targets
If I haven’t missed my guess, this Garden & Gun concept has marketing potential that can only be described as explosive. America is clamoring for “more bacon and cheese, please,” and who can blame us? After all, who doesn’t want a magazine that’s—fully loaded?