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Amazon Prime to run first Super Bowl commercial, touting 'Jack Ryan' series

Amazon Prime to run first Super Bowl commercial, touting 'Jack Ryan' series
Super Bowl LII will be played Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It will air on NBC. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Amazon Prime will unveil its first Super Bowl commercial during Sunday's live telecast on NBC — a 60-second spot promoting its upcoming "Jack Ryan" series, starring John Krasinski as Tom Clancy's globe-trotting intelligence agent.

Although Amazon has produced Super Bowl commercials in the past, including one promoting its Echo speaker and starring Alec Baldwin and former NFL quarterback Dan Marino, this marks the first time that Amazon's Prime service will have a starring role in the big match.

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The "Jack Ryan" commercial is expected to air immediately after Sunday's halftime show and will feature clips from the upcoming series in a trailer-like promotion. The dramatic series, with eight one-hour episodes, is an Amazon Studios production with Paramount and is set to premiere on Prime on Aug. 31.

Amazon said that the new commercial is intended to build awareness of Prime's original programming. The $99-a-year service provides members with free, two-day shipping on orders as well as access to Amazon's streaming entertainment service.

"People are aware of Prime video, but they're not always aware that they get this award-winning programming as part of the membership," Mike Benson, head of marketing for Amazon Studios, said in an interview. He said the Super Bowl spot will kick off a series of promotions leading up to the series launch.

"The show is a big priority for us," Benson said. "We think it has the potential to reach a wide audience."

The cost of a 30-second commercial on this year's Super Bowl telecast on NBC is estimated to exceed $5 million. The minute-long "Jack Ryan" commercial could set Amazon back more than $10 million.

Amazon said the series has been shot and is in post-production. The company declined to say how much the series cost to produce.

Clancy introduced the Jack Ryan character in his 1984 bestseller "The Hunt for Red October." Ryan subsequently appeared in several other Clancy novels, including "Patriot Games," "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" and "Clear and Present Danger."

Ryan was also a character in Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears," which centers on a terrorist threat against the Super Bowl.

The new series follows the rebooted Ryan as he graduates from CIA analyst to agent, following him around the world as he embarks on a series of harrowing adventures.

Competitor Netflix has produced Super Bowl commercials in the past, including last year's promotion for the second season of "Stranger Things." The streaming giant hasn't said if it will have a commercial for this year's match.

Hulu also had a spot in last year's game — a 30-second promo for "The Handmaid's Tale."

Hollywood has long used the Super Bowl to promote summer tentpole releases. Last year's commercials included trailers for "The Fate of the Furious" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

The "Jack Ryan" commercial won't be the only Amazon spot to air this Super Bowl. Amazon has also been teasing a new Alexa commercial, starring company founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

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UPDATES:

1:58 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.

This article was originally published at 11:25 a.m.

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