While some expected a political statement from Lady Gaga’s halftime act at Super Bowl 51, it was brands like Coca-Cola and Budweiser that were the ones to make the strongest statement on President Donald Trump’s stance on banning immigrants and building a wall across the border with Mexico.
But maybe none were as controversial as 84 Lumber’s spot featuring a mother and daughter attempting to make it across Mexico into America, only to find a huge, imposing wall stopping them from crossing the border. The ad was so controversial that Fox only let the company air a few moments of the commercial (the company posted the entire, nearly-six-minute ad onto their website). A surge in traffic caused the lumber company’s site to crash, with the ad ending with the statement: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”
“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the agency that worked with 84 Lumber to come up with the ad, told the Washington Post. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”
The ad, titled “The Journey Begins,” prompted viewers to “See the conclusion at Journey84.com,” and was meant to convey that “Our message is that America is the land of opportunity and 84 Lumber is the company of opportunity,” according to Shapiro.