Toyota’s emotional Super Bowl ad profiles the journey of a Paralympian

The automaker will run a separate message about COVID safety in the game

Published On
Feb 03, 2021

Editor's Pick

Toyota has profiled Paralympian Jessica Long in an emotional 60-second Super Bowl commercial.

Long was adopted from a Russian orphanage by an American couple. The spot, called “Upstream,” depicts how the couple received the news that Long’s legs would need to be amputated due to a rare condition. “It might not be easy, but it will be amazing,” her future mother says.

The story is told by showing scenes of Long swimming through each scene, including as a child. The ad ends by plugging Toyota’s Olympic sponsorship. The ad comes from Saatchi & Saatchi and was directed by Tarsem Singh.

“’Upstream’ highlights Toyota’s mission to shine a light on athletes like Jessica who work tirelessly every day to pursue their passion and inspire people around the world to reach their full potential,” Lisa Materazzo, group VP for Toyota marketing at Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. “We are grateful to Jessica and her family for their willingness to allow us to share such a personal part of their story.”

The automaker also says it will run a 5-second message in the game that “encourages people to think about the impact they have on those around them and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines.”