Industry Views

Pending Business: The Biggest of the Big

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imSuper Bowl LVIII could have been the best ever.

The pre-game hype was over the top, blending unique Vegas themes with the traditional NFL superhype we all know and enjoy. Digital Frank Sinatra singing “My Way” with the Super Bowl Symphony, Wayne Newton sharing his life story – pure Vegas, baby – and the 2024 pre-game was a scene set like no other. Usher fans enjoyed a halftime show that was pure energy. The storylines for this game featured more themes away from the game than any other in history. Could there have been any more written about Taylor Swift and her connection to this game, impact on NFL viewership and could she make it from Tokyo on time? It seemed like Sunday morning’s New York Times digital edition devoted more front-page space to Taylor Swift than the game itself.

Ironically, Super Bowl LVIII was a stunner. The Niners missed a point after kick that could have made them Super Bowl Champions. The miss led the game into overtime and another amazing Patrick MahomesAndy Reid last minute Super Bowl win. But the real treat was all the new think in creative commercials.

No longer were TV ads limited to one or even two celebrities per commercial. It was almost a competition for how many stars you could fit into 30 seconds. After all, when a 30-second commercial cost $7 million, maybe you cast Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, J Lo, Tom Brady, David Beckham, half the cast of “Suits,” to name a few, in one ad.

Madison Avenue was under more pressure than Brock Purdy, so the creative juices were flowing. Love it or hate it, the creative pressure to make a $7 million investment in 30 seconds payoff was intense. The new think worked. Go big or go home! Stand-by for the countless industry articles measuring everything from recall to audience size. The trend is your friend, and the trend says, this could be a peek into the future of open-your-wallet marketing. But where does this put audio pricing and creative on the impact spectrum?

Odds are the creatives that just opened the door to a new chapter of multiple celebrity integrations will stimulate the next generation of “theatre of the mind” producers. They are out there, for sure. We just need to work harder to attract their talent. As for pricing, that part is up to you.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

Industry News

Westwood One’s Kevin Harlan to Call 14th Consecutive Super Bowl

Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is the official network audio broadcast partner of the NFL and will present comprehensive live coverage and play-by-play of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday (2/11) as the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs play the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Lasim Vegas. This will be the 51st time Westwood One will broadcast America’s biggest sporting event. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties for the 14th straight year, with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner returning for the sixth consecutive year as lead analyst. Dean Blandino joins the radio broadcast booth as rules analyst. For the fifth time, Laura Okmin will patrol the sidelines, along with former defensive lineman Mike Golic, who returns for his third Super Bowl with Westwood One’s broadcast crew. Scott Graham and three-time Super Bowl champion Devin McCourty will host Westwood One’s pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage, with Devin’s twin brother and fellow Super Bowl champion Jason McCourty and former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker also contributing to the pregame coverage.