The winner of this year’s award for most appalling political stunt at the Super Bowl goes not to a performer or celebrity but an ad — produced for 84 Lumber.
The construction-supply company aired a 90-second ad featuring a Mexican mother and her daughter making a trek toward the United States. The TV version of the ad ends abruptly with an invitation for viewers to see how the journey ends online.
The full version of the ad shows the hardships of the journey — from the moment the girl accepts a piece of candy from her grandfather before leaving with her mother to their arrival at the U.S.-Mexican border.
In between, the duo brave water and desert, hop a train, walk through small villages and risk dehydration.
Finally, they make it, only to find a wall standing between them and the American dream.
As if the heart-tugging music were not enough, the girl reaches into her backpack and retrieves a tattered American flag.
Then the kicker.
Around a bend is a large door.
Tagline: “The Will To Succeed Is Always Welcome Here.”
The buzz surrounding the ad only intensified when Fox, which aired the Super Bowl, rejected the original version as too political.
Rob Schapiro, chief creative officer of 84 Lumber’s ad agency, Brunner, told Business Insider the ad intended to make a “patriotic” statement. He said the message was that America is a land of opportunity and 84 Lumber is a company of opportunity.
“With this expansion will come an ongoing recruitment campaign, and on this journey we depicted characters who embody the traits and characteristics they are looking for in their people: strong will, determination, and hard-working people,” he told the online publication.
Notwithstanding the not-so-subtle jab at President Donald Trump — who, himself, has said his border wall would have a beautiful door for legal immigration — the ad could be seen as encouraging an activity that has proved deadly.
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