Paintball Gets Kid Friendly With the JT SplatMaster

Marketer shoots up cable with new spot

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Behold this new kid's product—with national TV ads breaking this holiday—and try hard not to conjure the familiar refrain, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" It's called the JT SplatMaster, if that gives you any inkling of its intent. It's an at-home paintball gun made for boys 9 and up. What could possibly go wrong? It "accurately shoots up to 100-plus feet" and pelts its target with brightly colored gunk, "a first in its category," according to manufacturer Kee Action Sports. Hey, competing with Nerf ain't child's play, all right? The paintball-lite gun, for the record, shoots at a fraction of the force of a real one. Easily bruised? Play at your own risk. (There's actually a whole section on safety at the website.) The marketer, a first-time national TV advertiser, is spending about $2 million to hawk the blaster on channels like Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Disney XD, Cartoon Network and MTV (the latter for the man-children). The campaign is from ad agency Tierney in Philadelphia and emphasizes outdoor play and adventure rather than, say, a ride to the emergency room. (Goggles are sold separately, after all.) The only question remaining: Where can I get me one?

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.