The Message of That Controversial 84 Lumber Super Bowl Ad Wasn't What You Probably Thought
One of the most attention-getting of the politically-edged ads from the Super Bowl on Sunday (February 5th) was the one from building supply company 84 Lumber, which showed an Hispanic mother and daughter making the difficult journey north towards America. What was aired was actually only part of the ad; Fox, which was airing the Super Bowl, rejected the full version for being too political. So the ad directed people to watch the full version online. That showed the mother and daughter finding a wall along the border, but then walking through a big door that opens for them, ending with the tagline, "The will to succeed is always welcome here." Many -- maybe most -- viewers who saw both the aired version and the full version online thought they were watching a message against President Trump's statements about illegal immigrants and his pledge to build a border wall, and many Trump supporters were unhappy about the ad because of that. But it turns out the real message wasn't that simple.
84 Lumber president Maggie Hardy Magerko says she actually voted for Trump in November, thinks a border wall is necessary, and points out that a door in the wall was mentioned by Trump himself, who's said the border wall would have a, quote, "big beautiful door" for people to come in legally. So why did she want to do this commercial and what was its message? She said, "It's not about the wall. It's about the door in the wall. If people are willing to work hard and make this country better, that door should be open to them." She explained further, "My intent was to show, through the mother and daughter, that through struggles we will do anything we possibly can to make [the world] a better place for our children." She added, "We didn't mean this with any malice, we didn't mean this with any sharp tongue or sword. Sincerely, I don't view the wall as a bad thing. This was a patriotic commercial."