What Is 84 Lumber Trying to Say About Mexican Immigration With This Super Bowl Ad?

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The building supplies company 84 Lumber, whose first Super Bowl spot was initially rejected by Fox for being too political, has released the revised version. The conclusion of the 90-second spot, which will air in the second quarter, is shrouded in mystery and is ostensibly meant to direct viewers to Journey84.com, where the entire story, including the video nixed by Fox, will be posted. (UPDATE: Here's the second half.)

In the video airing Sunday, called "The Journey Begins," a Mexican woman and her daughter are seen rising early for a long voyage. They pack their belongings, including personal photographs, and join other voyagers on a trek that appears to be a border crossing. The two cross fields, streams and railroad tracks, while traveling by truck, train and foot and camping by firelight. The final image shows them holding hands, as text appears, "See the conclusion at Journey84.com."

The final direction of the ad is unclear, which could be a smart strategy for the 61-year-old, family-run company headquartered in Eighty Four, Penn. The president of 84 Lumber has said that the ad is meant to serve as a recruiting tool, specifically for men age 20-to-29. It will kickoff a yearlong campaign on that theme.

Last month, Fox rejected the first ad submitted by 84 Lumber because it featured a border wall—a structure that may be too controversial at this time given the political promises of President Trump. The company is working with Pittsburgh-based Brunner, its agency partner of more than five years.

With costs for a 30-second Super Bowl spot estimated to be $5 million, the 90-second video is an expensive ploy for 84 Lumber, which reportedly had sales of $2.5 billion in 2015. That year, the brand spent some $775,000 on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

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