Arguably the most touching and inspiring ad of this year’s Super Bowl was Toyota’s 60-second ad entitled “Upstream” which featured a remarkably pro-life message. In one short minute, it managed to tell the story of a woman, born with a rare condition, who was given life and a home through adoption. Through the support of her adoptive parents, along with her own determination, the woman–Jessica Long–beat the odds and became a Paralympic swimmer.
As National Review states, Toyota’s ad was, “A homage to both the beauty of adoption and the dignity of every life.”
The ad begins with a young girl swimming in a pool, and suddenly adds a voiceover of a woman speaking with a couple about a girl they are hoping to adopt. The viewer quickly infers that the girl the couple talks about is actually the girl swimming in the pool many years earlier.
As the woman begins to tell the couple about the girl they found who is available to adopt, the woman informs the couple that she has a rare condition: it will require the amputation of both her legs.
“I know this is difficult to hear, but her life, it won’t be easy,” the woman goes on to lament. As the parents and the woman from the adoptive agency are discussing this, the viewers are shown this girl at different stages of life swimming, laughing, and living what looks like a beautiful life.
As the ad comes to a close, the adoptive mother responds to the woman at the agency, saying about this little girl’s life, “It might not be easy… but it’ll be amazing. I can’t wait to meet her.”
The famous Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long, who has won 13 gold medals, is the girl whose emotional story is told in this ad. According to US Today’s Ad Meter, this was the fifth most popular Super Bowl ad with people calling it a “must watch” and a “powerful ad.
Knowingly or unknowingly, Toyota has made a touching, pro-life ad which millions of families across America got to witness on Super Bowl Sunday. This kind of witness, the undeniably touching story of a girl who overcame so many physical obstacles to be great at what she is passionate about, is extremely noteworthy in the pro-life movement.
Jessica Long, an inspiration to so many, wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be great if it wasn’t for her adoptive and birth mothers choosing to put her life above convenience. This is a message the pro-life movement is trying to desperately to spread and Toyota spreading it, knowingly or unknowingly, is a monumental victory for all those who hold pro-life values close to their hearts.