84 Lumber is a building materials supply company that is the latest to trigger a Superbowl advertisement controversy over an ad. We have previously discussed how groups like PETA often seems to engineer conflicts (and rejections) to get more attention than would have been generated by a commercial itself. Whatever the motivation, 84 Lumber has garnered massive attention after its commercial “The Journey Begins” was rejected by Fox as too political and divisive. With some 47 percent of the public supporting the Trump executive order, it is a risky move that the attention could create as much anger as support among potential customers. Regrettably, I will be on a flight to Guam (which takes off at the time of the kickoff). I will try to get the game on the flight but I enjoy having a Superbowl party with the kids. We enjoy the commercials often as much as the game. The company said that it was censored but allowed to run an altered commercial. Maggie Hardy Magerko, 84 Lumber’s president and owner, is quoted as saying “I still can’t even understand why it was censored. In fact, I’m flabbergasted by that in today’s day and age. It’s not pornographic, it’s not immoral, it’s not racist.”
Here is the full commercial:
The commercial is extremely well done and touching. The calculation by the company is interesting in itself. It clearly must have known that the ad would be a lightning rod. Michael Brunner of the production company is quoted as saying “We’re lucky to have a client who is not only unafraid of investing in a 90-second Super Bowl spot, but also willing to push the creative envelope. Sometimes you need to take a stance if you want to make an impact with your target audience. But in the process, you may also create detractors.”
And that could be a lot of detractors. While 51 percent of people say they oppose the executive order, some 47 percent support it. That is roughly even.
More than half of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, according to a new poll, though Americans are sharply divided along party lines on the issue.
Rasmussen Reports found in its own survey earlier this week that a majority approved of Trump’s order. Either way, it is roughly even — making the calculus an interesting one for a company that supplies building materials as opposed to an advocacy group like PETA that may not expect much support from conservative viewers.
What do you think?