84 Lumber goes back to drawing board to redo Super Bowl ad after Fox Sports rejection
January 19, 2017 12:00 AM
Michelle Wie eyes up her putt on the 17th hole Thursday in the first round of play of the 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.
By Tim Grant / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The first version of a 90-second ad that 84 Lumber plans to air during this year’s Super Bowl was sacked this week by Fox Sports due to its political overtones.
But 84 Lumber has not changed its mind about advertising in the NFL’s big game on Feb. 5.
The Washington County company will go back to the drawing board and explore other options to get its message across.
“Fox rejected our original commercial because they determined that some of the imagery, including ‘the wall’ would be too controversial,” said Michael Brunner, whose Downtown-based ad agency, Brunner, is handling all aspects of the commercial.
“84 Lumber challenged us to create a thought-provoking, 90-second spot that would tell the world who 84 Lumber is and what they stand for — a company looking for people with grit, determination and heart, no matter who they are, where they come from or what they look like,” he said.
According to advertising trade publication Campaign US, 84 Lumber submitted an ad that features a wall blocking people looking for work in the United States.
It includes images of immigrants unable to cross the border due to “the wall,” which was a key issue President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on during the 2016 presidential race.
With ad space for this year’s Super Bowl estimated at a record $5 million for a 30-second spot, the Eighty Four-based building materials supplier is expected to pay around $15 million to introduce itself to a wider viewing public, which includes its target audience of males age 20 to 29 years old.
The commercial, which is set to air just before halftime, is intended to be a recruitment tool to attract 400 new managers that the company plans to hire in 2017.
Mr. Brunner said the $2.5 billion company may have to resort to a Plan B in order to get its core message across.
“While that full story will no longer be told on TV at the Super Bowl, we all believe too strongly in that message to leave it on the editing floor,” he said.
“So we are going to launch it during the Super Bowl and make the full story available online.”
Tim Grant:email@example.com or 412-263-1591.
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