It’s pretty cool that a lumber company brought Fox to its knees, huh? Who came out ahead?
In case you’re one who avoids the nation’s biggest sporting event of the year, also known as the longest run of high-budget paid media that you’ll witness in a single sitting, a fairly low-profile company called 84 Lumber ran a spot during last night’s Super Bowl that Fox deemed “too controversial” to run in its entirety. “The Entire Journey” depicted the plight of a mother and daughter leaving Mexico for a better life in America. See the full spot here.
Based in Pennsylvania, 84 Lumber is a mid-sized (approximately 5,000 employees) company that mode its foray into Super Bowl advertising last night, for the first time, with a story that had very little to do with lumber. It had everything to do with following one’s dream into the land of opportunity. I’d never heard of the company. But right after being sucked in by the emotion of the spot, and while waiting for Lady Gaga to take the stage, I went straight to the 84 Lumber site to see the spot's conclusion... along with millions of others who contributed to the site’s crash.
There is so much talk about 84 Lumber on the internet and airwaves that the spot has more than paid for itself. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit that this is storytelling done right.
Paid – 84 Lumber paid millions for the air time and the production. It ran half of its 5 ½ minute promotional film in last night’s game. It was worth every cent.
Owned – Now that it’s back up and running, the company’s website has received millions of hits over the last 24 hours.
Earned – Multi-media coverage resulting from the now viral spot is priceless.
Managed – 84 Lumber’s social media team is wisely armed with key messages. When attacked for condoning illegal immigration, the company disputes that and responds that “The Entire Journey” highlights the type of people they’re looking for at 84 Lumber.
Indeed, it is important to note that 84 Lumber’s president, Maggy Hardy Magerko, voted for Trump. According to a story on Vox, she notes, “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.”
The trick will be to pry that door open.