Art Meets Tech in Ethos
Violinists, motorcycle help herald Benelli's newest shotgun
The Benelli booth at the SHOT Show took a multi-layered approach. (James Overstreet photo)
LAS VEGAS – In the myriad of booths in the firearms and ammunitions section, where guns were stacked in every sort of manner, the display for Benelli’s Ethos stood out.
The unique marketing strategy caught the eye of many passers-by, and one was overheard saying, “How many times do you see Salt Flats motorcycle combined with violinists and firearms?”
One. Benelli executed the idea of freelance photography Lee Kjos, who has partnered with Benelli to help promote the Ethos and run its media site.
Click image to see photos of Benelli’s booth at the SHOT Show
The white walls in the front corner of Benelli’s booth were a beacon of bright, but the racing cycle, complete with suited up rider, two violinists and a circle of firearms rotating were attention grabbers.
Every few minutes, Nicollette Koscardy and Mia Matsumiya, Los Angeles concert violinists, would play the music written by composer David Holden, who’s Hollywood credits include “The Dark Knight” of the Batman series.
“It took a month and half,” Holden said while holding the sheet music. “Always with commercials, there’s a lot of revisions. But I love doing things like this. It’s so much fun.”
So did David Hoegh, a motorcycle collector who on Aug. 29, 2012, piloted his Confederate X132 Hellcat Combat to average top speed of 172.211 mph on the Salt Flats of Bonneville. He set the new land speed record for that class of bike.
“They brought us in to demonstrate the culmination work between the arts and technology,” Hoegh said. “We represent the technology side of things, the violinists represent the art, and the gun is the combination of the two.
“It’s beautiful to look at. It’s got a natural wood finish. It’s gorgeous, and it’s got the mechanics of a high-performance machine.”
The commercial, which was playing on a big screen at the booth, was filmed in the Salt Flats with Hoegh, the violinists, and the shotgun. Dramatic, just like the shotgun.
The Ethos is built on a new platform that combines form and function for improved ergonomics. It can cycle the lightest loads, even 7/8 ounce, and weighs only 6.4 pounds. It retails for $2,199.
While the gun is the star, the unique marketing method did not go unnoticed by most walking the aisles. The booth was drawing stares and inquiries.
“What’s a motorcycle doing here?,” Hoegh said he’s been asked. “We get a lot of questions. It’s not surprising. There’s a lot of motorcycles here. It’s an outdoor sport. It’s a risk-taker. It’s all-American. It’s attractive. Everybody loves it. There’s a lot of crossover between a motorcyclist and a gun owner.
“I hope Benelli is happy with it. We’re happy with it.”
Go to SHOT Show 2014