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84 Lumber - The Journey Begins

February 05, 2017 | 1:30

Fox rejected the first cut of this ad from building supplies company 84 Lumber for bring too political: It portrayed a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a chief campaign promise of the newly inaugurated President Trump.

So 84 Lumber released this revised, TV-approved version on Feb. 2, three days before the game. A Mexican woman and her daughter rise early for a long voyage, pack their belongings and join other voyagers on a trek that appears to be a border crossing. The final image shows them holding hands as text appears, "See the conclusion at Journey84.com."

It's a provocative use of 90 seconds for a company unfamiliar to 99% of Super Bowl viewers It's also a bit mysterious, given that the spot's stated purpose is employee recruitment, unless you watch the whole thing.

"The Will to Succeed Is Always Welcome Here," is the final message of the online conclusion. If that part had actually aired, it would have been the strongest statement of Super Bowl LI. This ad is still pretty close. Other contenders are Airbnb, which used its last-minute buy to obliquely oppose the president's initial travel ban order ("We Accept"), and It's a 10 Haircare, which made nods to tolerance and made fun of the president's hair ("Four More Years").

Pittsburgh-based Brunner, which had worked with 84 Lumber for more than five years, handled creative and media duties on "The Journey Begins,"  the shop's first Super Bowl spot.

Director: Cole Webley. Production company: Sanctuary. Executive producer: Preston Lee. Head of production: Adam Litt. Director of photography: Justin Brown.

Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.
  • Brand84 Lumber
  • Year2017
  • AgencyBrunner
  • Superbowl #LI
  • Quarter airedQ2