Toyota's Super Bowl ad goes big on heart, light on cars

It's a lovely message for a Super Bowl ad, nonetheless.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski

Instead of car sales,  has focused on hope and an uplifting message for Super Bowl LV, as it debuted its commercial for the Big Game in the second quarter. Instead of chuckles, the spot tugs at heart strings, diving into the life of Paralympian and Team Toyota athlete Jessica Long.

While we see Long tear through the waters, they run parallel with her life story: An adopted girl from a Russian orphanage with a rare health condition that required the amputation of both legs. Despite the hardships such a life-changing procedure creates, we see Long emerge triumphant along the way. "I love that the spot highlights not just the gold medals and accomplishments but the challenging journey to get there," Long said of the ad.

Long is now the second-most-decorated Paralympian in US history with 23 medals just from those specific games. Outside of the Paralympics, she's also one of the most decorated swimmers in general.

Toyota said the ad aims to encourage respect for all people with the aim to inspire others to overcome challenges. In addition to the main ad, the automaker will also display a digital 5-second-long "billboard" during the game to encourage CDC guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic, and motivate individuals to understand how their specific actions affect those around them. You can see the full ad featuring Long right up above, or catch it before the 2-minute warning in the second quarter of the Super Bowl.

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