Construction company 84 Lumber has stumped up for a coveted Super Bowl TV ad slot, but the brand is promising to show an alternative version of its campaign – which Fox dubbed "too controversial for TV" – online during half-time.
A revised cut of the firm's 'The Journey Begins' campaign, which revolves around immigration, will be screened to some 110 million viewers on Sunday evening (5 January), but the ad will direct audiences to its website to see the conclusion of the ad, as well as the version spiked by Fox.
The film tells the story of of a Mexican woman and her daughter who pack up their belongings and embark on a journey to cross the border into the US. The final outcome of their voyage is shrouded in mystery, but the initial iteration featured a Donald Trump-eqsue border wall.
The agency behind the ad is Pittsburgh and Atlana-based creative shop Brunner, which told the Washington Post that Fox would not let the company air the wall during the Big Game.
As such, the ad has been rejigged to feature a barbed wire fence at what appears to be the border.
"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,” Rob Shapiro, Brunner's chief client officer told the 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?"
Several brands have used their Super Bowl ads to make political statements this year. Budweiser’s ad tells the story of Adolphus Busch, the immigrant co founder of parent company Anheuser-Busch while Audi has chosen to promote equal pay.
Update: 84 Lumber's website crashed during the half-time show due to the volume of viewers looking to view the second part of the 'The Journey', in which the mother and daughter featured complete their voyage.
You can view part two in full below.