The video cuts to Rubio telling the story during his April campaign kickoff speech in Miami. The Florida Republican senator's story about his dad, a Cuban immigrant, is a regular feature in his stump speech.
The ad comes amid a new phase in the campaign in which candidates and super PACs are expected to ramp up spending on paid television advertisements, which can be costly expenditures.
Rubio's campaign said the ad will air beginning Thursday in Iowa and in New Hampshire starting next week. It did not specify the size of its ad buy, which is Rubio's first in the early states. On Sunday, he unveiled a commercial about national security airing on cable stations nationally.
NBC News first reported the Iowa/New Hampshire commercial.
Rubio has his work cut out for himself in Iowa, where he is wrapping up a five-day swing on Tuesday. A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed him in fourth place in the Republican race at 13 percent, behind Donald Trump (25 percent), Ted Cruz (23 percent) and Ben Carson (18 percent).
A recent New Hampshire survey conducted by Suffolk University for the Boston Globe showed Rubio in second place at 11 percent, behind Trump, who registered 22 percent support.