Super Bowl Ad Stirs Controversy

By Emil Danelian ’18

One commercial during the Super Bowl depicted a young girl and her mom trying to illegally navigate their way from Mexico to America. A building supply company called 84 Lumber made the commercial, and many have deemed it inappropriate to be displayed on one of the biggest nights in television. Illegal immigration has become a big topic because of the election, and this commercial crossed the line for some viewers.

The ad that aired during the Super Bowl was just half of the full video. The end of the ad displayed a link that could let viewers see the whole thing, which ends in the little girl and mom finding themselves stuck behind the border. They then discover a huge wooden door that they go through, and this symbolizes their path of freedom into America. The wooden door was a product of 84 Lumber’s work. A text on the screen read, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

This commercial was inspiring and symbolic for many of the Mexican immigrants who had to travel to America for a better life. The ad even shows others who are on the same path as the mom and girl, and everyone helps each other to reach their goal. There is a positive and hopeful vibe throughout the commercial and it makes people realize that they take many things for granted. For example, the two characters spent many days and nights traveling, and not always in a big group. They were hungry most of the time, and water was not always something they could access. One part showed them begging from another person for water, which they fortunately received.

Many viewers were angry and criticized the company for supporting illegal immigration. Although this is how illegal immigration happens, this ad simply showed two humans trying to find a better life. Ever since the Trump campaign started, racial tensions increased and many support the deportation of immigrants. Now that this commercial is out, more people should take a deeper look into how innocent people are trying to do better for themselves and their family. The mom and child do a tremendous amount of work just to get into America, and sending them back would be heartbreaking. Even though this is just an ad for a building supply company, many can see the pain and difficulties that most Mexicans face when trying to get to America.

84 Lumber used its Facebook page to respond to critics. On February 6, they wrote, “We do not condone illegal immigration. The journey of the mother and daughter symbolizes grit, dedication and sacrifice. Characteristics that we look for in our people at 84 Lumber. President Trump has previously said there should be a ‘big beautiful door in the wall so that people can come into this country legally.’ We couldn’t agree more.”

This is an interesting response because they say they don’t support illegal immigration, but it is the whole idea of the ad. They could have shown grit and dedication in many other ways, and if they don’t support illegal immigration, they should have not made a whole commercial about it.

An emotional ad usually means it sticks with viewers, and this one stuck with a large number of people. The journey that the two took in the video is inspiring. It sends a message that we live in a place that many might die to be in. Excluding all political views, the two immigrants in the ad and the millions other who face the same reality are all humans. The ad was a great representation of how immigrants struggle to do better, and people should see the positive in that.


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