The Washington Post’s Super Bowl Ad

The Washington Post Super Bowl Commercial


For the first time ever, The Washington Post will be airing an ad during the Super Bowl. It will highlight the role of journalists who put themselves in grave danger to dig up news from countries all around the world. The spot includes major news events that date back to World War II, and chronicles the experiences of journalists as they pull together news despite how unsafe certain situations may be. According to The Post story, the ad ends with the paper’s logo and its slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”.

In the words of USA Today, “The commercial shows several slain and missing journalists affiliated with The Post and other publications, according to a description in Saturday’s newspaper. The company has not to this point released the ad for public viewing ahead of the game. The Post story said it will publish the commercial on its website and social media channels after the game.”

A memo written to employees about the ad by Post publisher Fred Ryan read, “With the murder last year of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the ongoing detention of freelancer Austin Tice, and the injustice of Jason Rezaian’s 544 days in an Iranian prison, this is an issue that is close to many of us. But The Post is not the only news organization to have experienced such outrageous abuses. Just last year, 64 journalists around the world were killed — and more than 250 jailed — simply for doing their jobs.”

He continued, “We feel that this is the right moment, at the right venue, to present this important message to the large audience of Americans and international viewers that watch the Super Bowl.”

The 60-second ad is slated to appear in the fourth quarter before the two-minute warning. It is narrated by Tom Hanks.

The commercial was produced in partnership with Mark Woolen and Associates and shows historical events underscored by Hanks’s narration. According to an article written by the Washington Post themselves, “The advertisement will briefly show several slain and missing journalists affiliated with The Washington Post and other publications. They include freelance reporter Austin Tice, who has been missing in Syria for more than six years. Tice is believed to be alive, though his whereabouts are unknown. Another freelance journalist, columnist Jamal Khashoggi, was killed at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. The CIA determined, with high confidence, that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.”

Ryan reportedly said The Post purchased the spot when it became available last week. Thus, while other companies spent months and some even a year on their 2019 Super Bowl ad, the Post took just one week to produce theirs.

Ryan explains, “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.”

Once the Super Bowl airs, the commercial will be published for audiences to view on its website and social media channels.

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