Who would’ve thought the Super Bowl‘s most effective commercial would be for a lumber company?
84 Lumber’s contribution to Commercial Bowl LI was a 90-second spot that depicted a Mexican mother-daughter duo setting off on the perilous journey across the border to the United States. The ad ends with a statement billing its original cut as “too controversial for TV” and directed viewers to a dedicated web site for the full version. However, the company was evidently unprepared for the deluge of traffic that comes with airing a controversial ad during the largest televised event of the year, and the site crashed.
84 Lumber mentioned last month that the first cut of their ad was rejected by Fox for being “too political. It — spoiler alert — depicted a massive wall blocking the mother and daughter’s access to the U.S., before they journey on and find a set of doors allowing them entry. The tagline for the ad: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”
Politics collided forcefully with the Super Bowl this year. Though Lady Gaga didn’t deliver a political statement with her halftime performance, as many expected she would, Budweiser delivered an unexpectedly political ad that focused on cofounder Adolphus Busch’s immigration journey to the States in the 19th century, and Google’s Home ad featured a conspicuously multicultural cast.
84 Lumber’s ad was deliberately political — with its visualization of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border — though Budweiser claimed they weren’t deliberately making a political statement.
“This is a conversation that’s taking place in homes across America and so 84 Lumber was willing to be part of that conversation, to be relevant and timely,” Rob Schapiro, chief creative officer of 84 Lumber’s ad agency Brunner, told Business Insider. “In Part Two [of the ad] you will see what a beacon of light America is, not just within America but beyond to other countries. We are that beacon of light for people for finding success from hard work and making a contribution.”
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