The Washington Post on Sunday aired its first ever Super Bowl advertisement, a minute-long commercial narrated by Tom Hanks that highlights the importance of reporting and press freedom.
The ad, which aired during the fourth quarter of the contest between the New England Patriots and L.A. Rams, featured a compilation of historic images and clips meant to signify the role of journalists.
“When we go off to war. When we exercise our rights. When we soar to our greatest heights,” Hanks says as the ad shows images of the World War II D-Day invasion and the first moon landing. “When we mourn and pray. When our neighbors are at risk. When our nation is threatened.
“There’s someone to gather the facts. To bring you the story. No matter the cost. Because knowing empowers us.Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free,” Hanks concludes as the commercial blares the newspaper’s slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
The ad features clips of Fox News’ Bret Baier and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, among other reporters.
The ad also pays a special tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was murdered last year after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It also features Austin Tice, a freelance reporter who has been missing in Syria for more than six years.
CBS was charging $5.25 million for a 30-second slot, according to CNBC.
“This was a chance for a broader message about the role journalists play in our everyday lives and the risks they take to bring us the facts,” Ryan said in a statement.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 4, 2019