The Washington Post released its first Super Bowl commercial – a message that highlights the importance of intelligence gathering and the dangers faced by journalists – during the Sunday game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. The 60-second commercial told by actor Tom Hanks was broadcast shortly before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter of the match.
The commercial, produced in collaboration with Mark Woolen and Associates, features scenes from important news from World War II to the present. The story of Hanks describes the role of journalists as eyewitnesses and fact collectors, as well as the greater importance of the profession to society. The commercial ends with the logo of the post and the slogan " Democracy dies in the dark".
"The Super Bowl is a remarkable moment to recognize the courage and dedication of journalists around the world who are so important to our democracy," said Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of the Washington Post. "We decided to take the opportunity to make this a milestone in our ongoing campaign."
The advertisement showed briefly several killed and missing journalists, who belong to the post office and other publications. Among them is the freelance reporter Austin Tice, who has been missing in Syria for more than six years. It is believed that Tice lives, although his whereabouts are unknown. Another freelance journalist, columnist Jamal Khashoggi, was killed on October 2 at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. The CIA noted with great confidence that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
A third journalist, in advertising, Marie Colvin, was an American war correspondent for the Sunday Times in London. She was killed by Syrian forces in 2012 when she was in Homs, Syria. Colvin is the subject of the movie "A Private War" of 2018, and on Wednesday, a US court ruled that the Syrian government should pay the Colvins family $ 302 million in damages.
Ryan said the post office had bought the post when it was last available week. A spokeswoman for the post declined to say how much the ad costs or how much money the post paid for the place. CNBC reported CBS billing a record $ 5.25 million for a 30-second slot.
Some advertisers start planning their ads months before the big game, but The Post's commercial was produced within a week. The election of Hanks as a narrator was an allusion to his role as former editor-in-chief of the Washington Post in the Steven Spielberg film "The Post" (2017), which was about the newspaper's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers.
Previous post ads that ran on TV were used to sell subscriptions. However, this commercial has a different goal.
"This was an opportunity for a broader message about the role that journalists play in our everyday lives and the risks they are taking to bring us the facts," Ryan said during the 2017 Oscars ceremony The New York Times debuted its first advertising campaign in more than a decade. Agency Droga5 has created a commercial based on the phrase "The Truth is". It presents a series of contradictory statements and ends with a bold text that reads, "The truth is more important than ever." It also contained no information about buying a subscription.
A running advertising campaign for CNN carries the slogan "Facts first."
Immediately after the broadcast of The Post, the video was published on its website and its social media channels.