84 Lumber Ad Makes a Splash at Super Bowl

The commercial caused the Washington County-based company’s website to crash after its airing during the big game.



There were plenty of talked-about moments from Super Bowl LI: the Patriots’ unprecedented second-half comeback, Lady Gaga’s epic mic drop during the glittery halftime show and, of course, the weighty ad from 84 Lumber.

Titled “The Journey Begins,” the spot caused the Washington County-based company’s website to crash after its airing. Featuring a mother and daughter overcoming odds to make their way across Mexico into America, only to be confronted by a giant wall, the commercial was deemed too controversial by Fox, which only aired a few moments of the nearly six-minute ad.

Viewers instead were invited to "See the conclusion at Journey84.com," causing a surge in traffic to the lumber company’s site.

The ad’s “completed journey” continues with mother and daughter spotting a wooden door in the wall and entering it. 84 Lumber President Maggie Hardy Magerko, daughter of founder Joe Hardy, told AdWeek the image of the door represents legal immigration and comes directly from President Donald Trump, who has said he wants a “big, beautiful door” in the wall he wants to build along the country’s border with Mexico.

The ad ends with a man driving down the highway with lumber and tools in the back of his truck. The words “The will to succeed is always welcome here” flashes across the screen.

To no surprise, the hot-button immigration topic featured in the ad caused an uproar on social media, with reactions ranging from support to condemnation of the lumber company’s message.

Rob Shapiro, chief client officer at Brunner, the Pittsburgh-based agency that worked with 84 Lumber on the ad, told the Washington Post, “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. If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn't that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?

See the ad for yourself here:

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