84 Lumber made a major splash at the Super Bowl with its controversial and political ad about a Mexican woman and her daughter making the journey to America.
Only the first half of the ad aired on Fox during the game, with the second half posted to the company’s website and YouTube page. The second half of the video ended with the woman and girl coming to a large wall with a wood door. They then push past the door to enter the United States.
You can watch the full ad below:
84 Lumber was one of many companies to take a political stand in its Super Bowl ad, joining Budweiser, Audi and Airbnb, among others.
The privately held company sells construction supplies and building materials.
Here’s what you need to know about the Pennsylvania-based lumber company:
1. Fox Rejected the Full Ad Because of It Could Be Considered ‘Politically Sensitive,’ the Ad Agency Said
Michael Brunner, the CEO of the ad agency that created the commercial, told CBS Pittsburgh that they were forced to change the ad because of Fox.
“Simply put, that was a spot that they didn’t think they would be willing to run during the Super Bowl.” Brunner later added on, “There’s some elements in it that are… can be considered politically sensitive… They are the host. We’re paying the dollars, but they are the host.”
Brunner says he created the commercial with three goals in mind: to generate awareness for 84 Lumber, to create pride in the workforce, and to fill jobs within the company.
“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” said Rob Shapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the agency that worked with 84 Lumber to come up with the ad, told the Washington Post. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”
The Super Bowl ad was the first for 84 Lumber.
“I still can’t even understand why it was censored,” Maggie Hardy Magerko, 84 Lumber’s president and owner, told the New York Times. “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.”
The company spent $15 million on the ad, according to the Times.
2. 84 Lumber Was Founded by Joe Hardy in 1956 & His Daughter, Maggie, Is Now Its CEO
84 Lumber was founded in 1956 in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, by Joe Hardy, according to its website.
The company is now run by his daughter, Maggie Hardy Magerko.
Its headquarters is located near Pittsburgh.
3. The Company Makes More Than $2 Billion a Year in Revenue & Is Continuing to Expand Across the Country
The company made more than $2 billion in revenue in 2013, according to its website.
During the recession, 84 Lumber struggled to survive, and was forced to close about half its stores. But it has rebounded and has continued its expansion across the country.
84 Lumber now has about 250 stores and employs about 5,000 people nationwide.
4. 84 Lumber Recently Introduced Environmentally Friendly ‘Tiny Living’ Portable Homes
The company recently introduced an environmentally friendly line of portable houses called “Tiny Living by 84 Homes,” according to a company press release.
“The tiny home movement lies perfectly at the intersection of 84 Lumber’s expertise in high-quality building materials and green building best practices,” CEO Maggie Hardy Magerko said in a statement. “With our national footprint and commitment to the dedicated do-it-yourselfer, we are uniquely positioned to become a part of this new path to homeownership, and are excited to offer Tiny Living on a national scale.”
5. Joe Hardy Is a Republican Politician & His Daughter Voted for Trump
The ad has angered many Republican supporters of President Donald Trump and his efforts to build a wall to keep undocumented Mexican immigrants out of the United States.
Its founder is a Republican politician himself. Joe Hardy held office in Pennsylvania as the vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Fayette County from 2004 to 2008, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Maggie Hardy Magerko told the New York Times she voted for Trump.
She said the ad was meant to recruit employees in their 20s who “believe in American dreams,” saying she is worried about the labor shortage her company is facing.
“I am all about those people who are willing to fight and go that extra yard to make a difference and then if they have to, you know, climb higher, go under, do whatever it takes to become a citizen. I am all for that 110 percent,” she said. “But do I want cartels? Hell, no.”