The Washington Post aired its first Super Bowl advertisement on Sunday, a one-minute long compilation of historic images and clips meant to honor the role of journalists.
The ad was narrated by actor Tom Hanks and it aired during the fourth quarter of the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
“When we go off to war. When we exercise our rights. When we soar to our greatest heights,” Hanks says while the ad portrays 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. The ad closes as the commercial shows 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. It gives a special tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was allegedly murdered last year after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The commercial also focuses on Austin Tice, a freelance reporter who has been missing in Syria for more than six years.
Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, said that the advertisement was purchased last week. 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.
Hanks’ role in the commercial appears to be connected to the role he played in depicting the newspaper’s former executive editor, Ben Bradlee, in “The Post.”