While Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance may have lacked political statement, it was brands like Budweiser, Coca-Cola and AirBnB that took their five million dollar moment to take a stand against Trump’s immigration ban.
One of the most moving and controversial Super Bowl 51 commercials belonged not to the biggest brands, but to building materials company 84 Lumber.
The commercial took viewers straight to Mexico with a mother and daughter making their journey to the United States border. It was deemed ‘too controversial for TV’ by Fox.
Only allowed to air a few moments, 84 Lumber ended the 90-second video with a message to check their website to see what happens next. And it’s the full video that has people talking.
The complete version, which clocks in at over five minutes, proved so popular that 84 Lumber’s website crashed due to intense traffic.
Try to find the full commercial on the company’s website – even now, nearly 12 hours after airing – and you will be met with: “The service is unavailable,” so we’ve provided the full thing for you here.
The full ad is nearly six minutes long and completes the Mexican immigrants’ journey, where they find a large, concrete wall – not unlike the one President Donald Trump plans to build.
It initially blocks the mother and daughter from entering the country, before they travel a bit further along and come across two large doors granting them entry into the U.S.
It ends with the tagline: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”
Naturally, the ad has received a wide range of criticism:
— Carrie Welborn (@CarrieWelborn) February 6, 2017
Hey #84lumber: Cost to taxpayers each illegal alien: $35K per year. Put that in your lumber yard. See how many illegals buy your wood. Adios
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) February 6, 2017
But Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the 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?
And most of Twitter seems to agree:
— Myke Hunt Johnson (@mykehunt316) February 6, 2017
— Bayley (@bayleyann034) February 6, 2017
— Carrie Hahn (@HahnSlp) February 6, 2017
That awkward moment when a lumber company understands the essence of America more than its president.
Way to go 84 Lumber!
— LivingBlue (@LivingBlueinRed) February 6, 2017
Shapiro added that the ad was meant to convey that ‘our message is that America is the land of opportunity and 84 Lumber is the company of opportunity’.
And the company was not the only brand covering the theme of immigration. Budweiser aired a 60-second ad that follows Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, cofounder Adolphus Busch’s difficult journey from Germany to America in the mid-1800s.
Coca-Cola re-aired its It’s Beautiful ad, featuring a sea of diverse faces and America the Beautiful sung in different languages.