Amid the peans to nostalgia, celebrity friendships, really expensive Italian cars, and bland pro-diversity statements that would have been relatively uncontroversial just a few months ago, 84 Lumber’s Super Bowl ad stands out. The company, until yesterday a relatively obscure building materials supplier, took a risk by airing the most overtly political ad of the night, about a mother and daughter immigrating to the U.S. on foot:

And according to CBS News, the ad’s exhortation for viewers to “see how the journey ends” on 84 Lumber’s website was more than just an attempt to drum up traffic. The ad originally ended with the duo being stopped by a wall at the U.S. border, an ending that Fox deemed too controversial for the Super Bowl. So the ad was re-worked, and the full version made online-only. Here it is, border wall and all:

Whether intentional or not, the tactic worked. Ad agency Brunnerworks, which created the spot, says the 84 Lumber website received 300,000 hits within a minute of the TV spot’s airing, crashing the site for about 10 minutes. Those issues were eventually resolved, and the full ad has more than 3 million hits on YouTube as of this writing. About the campaign, Brunnerworks CEO Michael Brunner says, “The controversy’s already out there. We were simply using that [ad] as a metaphor to talk about 84 Lumber and what they’re looking for in terms of the people they’re looking to hire.”

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