It’s almost a week after the recent Super Bowl with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking home the Lombardi Trophy. I confess, I didn’t watch many Tampa Bay games this season, so I was a bit surprised the Bucs won in such controlling fashion.
Of course, Kansas City was not in full strength, especially on the offensive line, and the Chiefs defense committed a LOT of penalties. But enough of my whining.
It’s common knowledge that the majority of Super Bowl viewers watch the game for the commercials. These $5M-per-30-second clips are all the rage. It was the usual spread of ads—some good, some not so good.
But the one ad I want to highlight in this week’s DHD is the one I believe has a powerful Sanctity of Human Life message.
Toyota had a major winner. The car company featured a brief story about Jessica Long, a multi-paralympic gold medalist swimmer. I never heard of Long before this ad, but I’m a fan now.
Here’s the ad, in case you haven’t seen it:
And here’s my six takeaways. Thanks for reading!
1. Encourages adoption
Child adoption is a powerful pro-life procedure. Adoption also is a great demonstration of the Gospel (Eph. 1:5).
The ad begins with a creative scene of an adoption agency rep calling Long’s adoptive mother. Water is everywhere with Jessica in current time swimming around the dramatization.
Who can’t be moved by the courageous opportunity of someone being adopted! The opening of the ad makes a powerful appeal to the viewer with just a small glimpse of what goes on in the challenging endeavor when someone chooses to adopt.
If you are someone who has adopted a child or children, bless you for how you value life and for how you demonstrate the Gospel.
2. Shows Long adapting and Mom encouraging
On the phone, the rep talks about Long’s limitations being an amputee. But then there’s a scene of Baby Jessica walking with her artificial legs with Mom smiling and cheering on her daughter.
Don’t you love people who help you when you’re in a challenging situation? I do believe God brings people into our lives for special circumstances when we feel hopeless and helpless.
I have no doubt that Long’s parents were major contributors to Long’s accomplishments, especially in times when she needed support in her early years.
3. ‘It might not be easy, but it will be amazing’
I teared up when I heard this line. Well done, script writer!
This line summarizes all the inspiring parts of Long’s life. The great thing about the line is it can speak to everybody. I’m challenged by trying to get through this ridiculously cold weather and figuring out how I can get work accomplished next week. I got it down that it’s not easy, but we’ll see how amazing next week will be.
4. Jessica smiling at mom’s response
Yes, Jessica draws the attention in the ad, but her mom is the one who is credited for the inspiring phrase and the support. When the ad shows Jessica about to turn in the pool, her smile confirms her mom’s words and that all she went through was worth it.
The timing in this one-minute ad is impressive. There’s a lot of elements to pick up. If you’re like me you’ve watched this ad multiple times, and you catch something different each time.
5. ‘We believe there is hope and strength in all of us’
This is an interesting slogan for Toyota. There can be hope, and there can be strength, but the ultimate question is the “who and/or what” in finding strength and hope.
I’ll give Toyota credit for prompting viewers toward hope and strength. Perhaps the Holy Spirit could use this message to help a viewer find ultimate hope and strength, which can be found in Christ (Rom. 5:5; Rom. 15:13; Heb. 11:1; 2 Cor. 12:10; 1 Pet. 5:10).
6. ‘I truly felt forgiveness’
This last point did not come from the ad directly. However, after watching the ad, I did some research on Long and found an article on SportsSpectrum.com, which features athletes who make their Christian faith known.
This article is a great follow-up to the Toyota ad. It talks about Long meeting her birth parents, and what she said in describing the experience is a powerful Gospel message:
“It was one of the hardest things,” Long said. “I think in that moment, I truly felt forgiveness. God had forgiven me so I felt like I could forgive (my birth mom). And now in my life, a lot of people can’t always relate to being an amputee but I’ve gotten so many good responses about the adoption piece and not feeling enough. And that’s been really cool.”