Indiewire’s article, From ‘Manchester By the Sea’ to the Super Bowl: How a Rising Cinematographer Landed A Major Budweiser Ad, looks at the recent work of Jody Lee Lipes as well as the creative process and backlash that came with his latest commercial project. The Budweiser commercial, Born the Hard Way, follows one of the co-founders of Budweiser as he emigrates to America and faces hardship and discrimination. This was one of several controversial commercials that aired during the Super Bowl and appeared to attack President Trump’s immigration restrictions. Supporters of the restrictions even began using #BoycottBudweiser as an attempt to fight back against the commercial. Lipes responded to the controversy stating that it was “misplaced rage” and that the commercial was intended to be “easygoing and not offensive.” The commercial was about to cross twenty-seven million views on YouTube at the time of writing this post.
Another controversial commercial from the Super Bowl was 84 Lumber’s The Journey, which featured a mother and daughter trying to make their way into the United States only to be stopped by a border wall; however, upon closer examination there is a giant wooden door that grants them entry into the US. The commercial ends with a message stating, “The Will To Succeed Is Always Welcome Here.” 84 Lumber’s video has crossed over nine million views on YouTube and continues to divide those that view it with those that support immigration restrictions claiming that it is promoting illegal activities.
What is important to note and seems left out in many of the articles addressing the controversy around these commercials is how successful they both were. 84 Lumber’s website crashed after posting the commercial because so many people were visiting it and Budweiser was able to garner almost twenty seven million views in just two days. While these commercials may have been controversial and divided people who watched them, once you look closer at how much traffic their websites are getting you have to agree with the old saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity.