A first-time Super Bowl advertiser didn’t get to air the ad it wanted – the original spot was said to be too controversial – so instead prompted viewers to see the ending online, which apparently caused the company’s site to temporarily crash Sunday.
The 90-second ad from 84 Lumber, a Pennsylvania-based construction materials company, depicts the story of a mother and daughter on a journey through Mexico. For their maiden Super Bowl ad, the family-owned company decided to tackle one issue dominating headlines in the United States: immigration.
Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order temporarily banning travel to the U.S. for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, halting the intake of all refugees for several months and those from Syria indefinitely.
He has also relentlessly pushed for building a wall on the southern border, between the U.S. and Mexico.
It’s the latter issue at which 84 Lumber wanted to take direct aim with its television ad. The version the company wanted to air showed the mother and daughter coming face to face with a depiction of a wall after days and nights spent on the back of a truck, walking through rain storms, farmlands and along train tracks, and keeping warm at night with the help of a campfire.
But Fox, the network airing the Super Bowl, deemed the ad too controversial, according to the Washington Post.
So the company rejigged its ad, removing the reference to the wall and inviting viewers to go online to see how the mother and daughter’s journey ends. Fox accepted that version.
Fox’s advertising guidelines, available online, stipulate “as a general rule … time will not be sold on [Fox Broadcasting Company] network facilities for viewpoint or advocacy of controversial issues. Advertisers may not use their commercial time for addressing viewpoints or issues.”
Though the 84 Lumber website was temporarily down, the full ad was available on YouTube.
The spot posted online runs just less than six minutes and shows construction workers erecting a structure.
The mother and daughter then come upon a towering wall and appear defeated. What they find out, though, is the workers were building a massive wooden gate in the wall, and the two push through it to cross into the other side.
The ad ends with the words, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”
With files from The Associated Press