84 Lumber’s powerful ad sends viewers flocking to their site
A journey of an immigrant mother fighting to give her daughter a better life ended up being the most controversial commercial on Superbowl Sunday. Fox refused to air the commercial from 84 Lumber in its entirety, because it depicted a mother and daughter crossing what can only be described as Trump’s future wall.
Rob Shapiro, chief officer at the agency who helped come up with the ad, told the Chicago Tribune that “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.” He continued, “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”
This is the edited version, that Fox ran during the Superbowl.
The commercial, whose full length runs over 5 minutes, shows a mother and a daughter from Mexico/Central America journeying to America. They hop in the back of pickups, splash through rivers, and cross forbidding desert. They find joy, as the mother twirls her daughter; they find love, as her daughter sleeps in her lap. All they carry is a backpack. When they get to a barbed-wire fence, the commercial ends, thanks to Fox’s refusal to run it. But there was a prompt for viewers: go to Journey84.com and “See the rest of the journey.”
So many Americans went to view the continuation that they crashed the site. Here it is:
They cross another desert. A man gives the little girl a bottle of water. And then, when their journey is finally over, they reach Donald Trump’s endless wall. The mother cries. The little girl takes out a tattered American flag she made throughout the journey from pieces of refuse. And then a door opens up. They walk through, and it cuts to a pickup truck. “The will to succeed is always welcome here,” white words say. “84 Lumber.”
And while Fox execs deemed the original cut too controversial, Shapiro said, “The message has not changed … America is the land of opportunity.”
Viewers reactions, while mostly positive, are mixed. 84 Lumber’s Facebook page lets people air their real feelings, from fear that the company is courting illegal immigrants to save money on labor, to anger that the company is supporting illegal immigration.
Most, however, were nothing but positive:
This is the America we want to be part of. People are fighting back against the hate – against the Muslim ban, against the treatment of women, against the treatment of undocumented immigrants, and against the increased radicalization of the right.
Kudos to 84 Lumber to standing up for their beliefs.