Construction company 84 Lumber seems to be deliberately looking to provoke controversy with its Super Bowl ad, which depicts a Mexican mother and daughter embarking on an arduous journey, apparently to leave their country of origin.
As the two cross the country by foot, truck, and train in the 90-second long “The Journey Begins” spot, the girl picks up scraps of material on her way, in the colour of the Mexican flag, which she stitches together by firelight.
The ad ends with viewers being invited to see the conclusion of their story at a dedicated website, which promises “content deemed too controversial for TV,” which will be unveiled at half-time during the big game this Sunday.
A spokesperson for Brunner, the creative agency behind the ad, confirmed to Adweek “the conclusion is about immigration.”
It is well-known that President Donald Trump has taken a hard line on immigration and has promised to build a border wall that Mexico will pay for — so there’s little doubt this ad will stoke some fires on game day.
And, as Adweek points out, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that was 84 Lumber’s intention after all.
84 Lumber said last month the first cut of its ad was rejected by Super Bowl broadcaster Fox for being too political. The ad had featured a “wall” blocking people from looking for work in the US.
At the time, Brunner CEO Michael Brunner sent Business Insider this statement:
“Fox rejected our original commercial because they determined that some of the imagery, including ‘the wall’ would be too controversial. So we went back and revised the spot to make it acceptable to them. 84 Lumber challenged us to create a thought-provoking 90 second spot that would tell the world who 84 Lumber is and what they stand for — a company looking for people with grit, determination and heart, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they look like. And while that full story will no longer be told on TV at the Super Bowl, we all believe too strongly in that message to leave it on the editing room floor. So we are going to launch it during the Super Bowl and make the full story available online.”
Fox is reportedly charging advertisers just over $5 million for a 30-second advertising slot during the Super Bowl this year, suggesting 84 Lumber paid in the region of $15 million for this ad.
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