Toyota is bringing the Winter Games to the Big Game

A pair of Canadian Paralympian brothers are helping the automaker once again amplify its mobility positioning during a Super Bowl ad.

Brothers-Toyota

Toyota is using the inspiring story of Canadian Paralympian brothers pushing each other to their limits, to tell a broader brand story about mobility.

The new spot, “Brothers,” is the latest in Toyota’s global “Start Your Impossible” campaign that first launched in 2018. It tells the story of the real-life brothers Brian and Robin McKeever growing up, Brian’s diagnosis of Stargardt Macular Degeneration, and the siblings’ passion for cross country skiing and succeeding at the Paralympic Games despite Brian’s central vision loss. It will air during the first commercial break of the Super Bowl on both NBC in the U.S. and CTV in Canada.

“Toyota believes that mobility goes far beyond cars, and our vision is to reduce barriers and build a more inclusive, barrier-free society,” says Cyril Dimitris, Toyota’s VP of sales and marketing in Canada. “We often find that sports reiterate these beliefs as athletes share many of our own company values of humility, hard work, and overcoming challenges.”

The brothers competed in Para Nordic Skiing in three consecutive Paralympic Winter Games (2002, 2006 and 2010) and Brian is Canada’s most decorated Winter Paralympian with 17 medals (13 of them gold). Dimitris tells strategy its Toyota-sponsored athletes allow the brand to connect emotionally not just with Canadians, but globally too.

“Highlighting them as a demonstration of the power of movement allows us to speak to our future vision as a global mobility company,” Dimitris says.

In 2015, Toyota became the official worldwide mobility partner of the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, as well as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, aligning with the automaker’s global Olympic involvement.

That has allowed Toyota to spotlight Olympians and Paralympians in other venues. In 2018, Toyota’s “Good Odds” campaign also ran during the Super Bowl and shined the spotlight on mobility and did not feature a single vehicle. Instead, it profiled Canadian Paralympian and eight-time gold medalist Lauren Woolstencroft, who was born without legs below the knee, and with no left arm below the elbow.

Lisa Materazzo, group VP of marketing at Toyota North America, says the response to that spot was overwhelmingly positive and confirmed its hope in making it worthwhile for viewers to tune in for an optimistic and inspirational experience. It’s also gotten a very positive response from running Olympic/Paralympic spots during the Super Bowl in the U.S., starring Paralympian Jessica Long, who had her legs amputated as a toddler as a result of a congenital absence of the fibula and learned to walk with prostheses.

According to Materazzo, the Super Bowl lets Toyota deliver a mobility message, as Super Bowl ads offer extreme reach and engaged viewers on the rare occasion when they are actively seeking out commercials.

The creative was developed by Saatchi & Saatchi’s offices in Los Angeles and Dallas, as well as Dentsu Tokyo.