Good lord almighty, is this some effective pro-amnesty schmaltz. Most ad makers would have found it sufficient to feature the adorable moppet braving the elements to live her teeny tiny American dream. Not these people. They added the bit with the ragged makeshift American flag as an extra emotional uppercut, to make sure you walk away staggering. If 84 Lumber had done the Democrats’ ads last year, we’d not only have President Hillary now, we’d already have adopted the “Amero” as the national currency. In fact, they did so well here that Fox wouldn’t run the conclusion of the ad due to its political topicality. The version that aired during the game stopped during the trek through the wild and directed viewers to the company’s website to watch the ending. The site promptly crashed due to the massive traffic load from people emotionally invested in learning the outcome. I feel about this as I felt about last night’s Super Bowl result: Even if you’re unhappy, gotta give credit to the guys on the other team when they’ve played spectacularly well.
There’s just one hitch. 84 Lumber wants you to believe that these two are, er, legal immigrants:
Our complete Super Bowl story. See a mother & daughter’s symbolic journey toward becoming legal American citizens. https://t.co/AiI3MLrVd5
— 84 Lumber Company (@84LumberNews) February 6, 2017
The owner of the company insists that she voted for Trump and that the ad was inspired by his campaign chatter about a “big beautiful door” in the border wall, but that reeks of damage control in light of the outcry this spot would surely cause on the right. I’d be mighty curious to know from the Border Patrol how many legal immigrants (on a “journey toward becoming legal American citizens”) whose visas and work permits are in order typically enter the United States by wandering through the desert towards the border instead of showing up at a point of entry and presenting their papers. These two are very obviously illegal immigrants. The only way either one of them is on a journey towards citizenship is if the little one ends up being legalized as part of an amnesty for DREAMers. Which, let’s face it, seems increasingly likely thanks to the Trump administration.
Oh, I almost forgot the punchline:
In terms of strategy, the ad is all about recruitment. Magerko’s company faces a labor shortage and the ad is designed to appeal to employees in their 20s “who really believe in American dreams,” she told The New York Times recently.
Any unemployed Americans out there looking for work? There’s a lumber company in Pennsylvania that can’t seem to find qualified workers among the pool of 300 million U.S. citizens and is looking south of the border for inspiration. Maybe Trump can help them find recruits here at home by tweeting about their “labor shortage” problem.