While there were a number of Super Bowl ads that carried an obvious political agenda, one put out by 84 Lumber managed to turn a few heads. For starters, the full ad wasn’t even played on television, only the first 90 seconds of what was nearly a six minute production in total.In the ad that aired for the construction-materials company, a Mexican mother and daughter who are apparently sneaking across the southern border of the U.S. travel in the dark, walk along a barbed-wire fence, hop on a boxcar on a moving train, and cross a river. The ad then ends there with a call to action to visit their website to see the end. You can watch the full story below: Before even watching the full ad it would be obvious they were going to be encountering a wall at some point. When the two main characters reach the wall, there’s a door directly in the middle where they’re able to enter America. The over-arching message of the commercial? “The will to succeed is always welcome here” — which is definitely open to multiple interpretations.
There wasn’t exactly an immigration office waiting for them on the other side of that wall, leading many to believe the ad was an endorsement for illegal immigration.A Twitter account associated with Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund tweeted support of the ad, and 84 Lumber’s response to the Left-wing group made it seem even more likely that it was in fact illegal immigration we were looking at (how many legal immigrants boxcar their way to America, after all?)
And with all that said – it’s ever more shocking that the owner of 84 Lumber voted for Donald Trump.As USA Today reported: The CEO of the hardware company that injected itself into the national debate over immigration with an ambiguous yet polarizing Super Bowl commercial declared that she supports President Trump but didn’t intend to foster division with the ad.
Maggie Hardy Magerko, owner and CEO of 84 Lumber, told People magazine that she backs Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico but didn’t intend to take a political stand with the emotional advertisement.
She acknowledged that the commercial’s message’s were “in the eyes of the beholder,” reflecting the broad range of reactions to the ad, including praise and criticism from immigration proponents and wall supporters alike.
“We need to keep America safe,” Magerko told People. “America needs to be safe so you and I can have the liberty to talk… The wall, I think it represents, to me, security. I like security.”She added: “This came from the heart and I didn’t do it for personal gain. It’s not about me or my beliefs or the wall, it’s about individuals… treating people with dignity and respect.”
After Super Bowl watchers crashed the company’s website and erupted in conversation over the ad, the company rushed to clarify its intent, even as the swirling debate appeared to accomplish the elusive goal of generating social media buzz.
On the other hand, maybe the goal was to confuse the heck out of as many people as possible, then take a neutral stance to appease both sides after you’ve already drawn attention to yourself. Who knows? Does anyone see how this ad could be interpreted as pro-legal immigration without any additional explanation?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]