The carmaker has something more important to talk about.
Automakers often air advertising campaigns during the Super Bowl since the annual sports event is watched by millions of potential car buyers. This year, however, several automakers have pulled out of the Super Bowl presumably because marketing budgets have been cut amid the ongoing pandemic.
Consequently, Ford won't be showing off the new Bronco during the 2021 Super Bowl game and you won't see the new Hummer EV, either. Toyota, on the other hand, will air a 60-second TV spot dubbed "Upstream," which you can watch online right now. Reflecting on these current tough times during the pandemic, Toyota's commercial "shares an uplifting message of hope and strength" in contrast to GM's lighthearted commercials starring Will Ferrell.
Unusually, not a single car features in Toyota's ad campaign. Instead, the moving commercial chronicles the challenging journey of Team Toyota athlete Jessica Long. The 60-second spot features Long swimming through milestone scenes from her life, including the moment her adoptive parents received the news that her lower legs will need to be amputated due to a rare condition.
The spot shows how Long overcame these challenges to become the second most decorated Paralympian in US history. "I love that the spot highlights not just the gold medals and accomplishments but the challenging journey to get there," said Long.
"Perseverance, grit, and overcoming the odds contributed to my success and my hope is that people feel inspired and uplifted by this emotional spot." Referencing Jessica's extraordinary journey, the spot ends with the line, "We believe there is hope and strength in all of us."
As well as airing the 60-second TV spot during a Super Bowl commercial break, Toyota will also air a five-second "billboard" that "encourages people to think about the impact they have on those around them" during the pandemic and follow Covid-19 prevention guidelines. It asks people to mask up, socially distance, get vaccinated, and get vaccinated when it's your turn.