Great things can be achieved no matter the obstacles

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Instead of touting its new products, Toyota is taking a different approach with its Super Bowl LV commercial. The automaker is releasing a 60-second commercial, called Upstream, and featuring Jessica Long, an American swimmer who is the most decorated Paralympians in U.S. history. The ad touches on Long’s incredible journey from when she was adopted by an American couple from an orphanage in Siberia despite a rare medical condition that resulted in her legs getting amputated to becoming one of the greatest paralympic swimmers in history.

Toyota adopts a serious and inspirational tone with its Super Bowl LV commercial. Other than a few well-placed branding spots, there are no Toyota vehicles in the commercial. Instead, the commercial traces the life of 13-time Paralympics gold medal swimmer Jessica Long back to her infancy as an orphan in Siberia when an American couple agreed to adopt her despite her being born with fibular hemimelia, a rare medical condition that required her legs to be amputated.

Long can be found throughout the commercial swimming through numerous important moments in her life, including her childhood where her passion for swimming began. That passion soon turned into an unnerving determination to succeed. From the countless hours of training to competing in the highest level of competition for paralympic athletes, Long continues in the ad until she finishes the race.

Toyota Shines the Spotlight on Paralympic Athlete in Super Bowl Ad
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The background of the scene then returns to when her mother agrees to adopt her, telling the woman on the other end of the line that “it might not be easy, but it’ll be amazing.” This sets the stage for one of the most inspiring stories of a paralympic athlete that we’ll ever see. The commercial ends with a simple yet meaningful tag line: “We believe there is hope and strength in all of us.”

This shouldn’t be surprising, particularly because it falls in line with Toyota’s Community Service Announcement from 2020, which aimed to raise awareness and precaution in the Hispanic and African American communities in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Toyota Shines the Spotlight on Paralympic Athlete in Super Bowl Ad
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This ad isn’t about the coronavirus, but it does come with its own inspirational tenor, particularly when it comes to overcoming all sorts of obstacles in order to achieve great things in life.

Toyota’s message of “hope and strength in all of us” isn’t just limited to Jessica Long or other athletes in the sports world. It’s all of us.

Toyota’s commercial will air before the two-minute warning in the second quarter. That’s premium real estate for a Super Bowl commercial.

Source: YouTube - Toyota

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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