Meet the young entrepreneurs behind the “Buy a roof, get a gun” ad

DECATUR, Ala. - A North Alabama roofing company has created an ad that is getting attention across the country, but it has nothing to do with their product.

Using only a $100 budget, an iPhone 7 plus and a little creativity, two young entrepreneurs have thrust their company onto the world's stage. With all that attention is coming a lot of praise, and a little controversy.

It's not the cheesy graphics or even the star's crazy outfit that's causing talk online - it's the sales pitch.

“If you sign up for a new roof with Digital Roofing Innovations, you’re going to get you a free AR-15 rifle after we complete your roof," says Zach Blenkinsopp, the co-owner of Digital Roofing Innovations.

“We’ve been going back and forth on what can we do that’s polarizing. That was the goal," says Chris McGuire, the other owner of the company.

Zach stars in the commercial. He says his outfit was all Chris's idea.

"He said, if we’re going to do this, it’s gotta be big, loud, over the top," says Blenkinsopp.

The mix of alcohol and firearms has internet commentators on full blast, both on our WHNT News 19 Facebook page, and the original post on their page.

“Obviously I’m a responsible gun owner, so all the shots that we had of me actually shooting was prior to us consuming alcohol and then if you actually look closely on the video, the magazine’s actually empty," says the Navy Veteran.

Then there's the issue of distributing these carbines.

Despite what the commercial may look like, you’re not just going to be handed an A-R 15., It's actually a multi-step process. First, you’re going to have to actually come to a gun store , fill out all the proper paperwork, and then pay with a 500 dollar cash voucher.

“We really feel strongly that the gun violence question is not our target audience in North Alabama, we’re giving firearms to responsible gun owners that are family people that care about the community and they support the second amendment," says Blenkinsopp.

The owners say, the ad wasn't social commentary.

“We knew this was going to be a very right-wing, pander to our southern audience but this is where we're from. We’re proud Alabama guys," says Blenkinsopp.

They say it was all about getting your attention, and based on the number of shares, it's working.

“In order to reach your audience, especially with the days of the internet. If you can provide just a little bit of shock value, the world’s your oyster," says McGuire.

Their phones are ringing off the hook, partially because Zach made the mistake of putting his personal phone number in the ad, but also because of the message.

“Those people that do love us, they’re going to buy a roof from us. The people that hate us were probably not going to buy a roof from us if they were lukewarm anyway," says McGuire.

While many may just be calling because they want a new toy in their gun safe, Zach and Chris say, beyond the explosive ad, they really just want to install you a new roof.

“We know that the ad looks like a total gimmick, and we’re totally appreciative of that,” says Blenkinsopp. "At the end of the day, we put on fantastic roof systems on their homes."