Backstreet Boys’ visit wows agency creatives

When Mindy Verson learned that pop sensation Backstreet Boys were going to perform at Ravinia in late August, she picked up the phone and called her old friend, their manager.

The day after Ravinia, where the band played to a sell-out audience of 18,000 screaming fans, the Boys were performing for a smaller, but no less rapt audience.

Verson, partner with David Kaplan in Audio Producers Group (APG), had arranged for the band to spend an hour each the creatives at Leo Burnett and DraftFCB.

“This is a great way for agency creatives to get to know bands, and know them on a different level,” says Verson, a one-time band manager, whose phone calls to bands are always picked up quickly and cordially.

The underlying purpose of these unique up-close-and-personal sessions “is, of course, to get commercial deals, for all the artists we work with,” Verson says.

Some of the artists APG has introduced to agencies, in Chicago and other cities, include Shawn Colvin, Chris Cornell of Sound Garden and Audioslave, Kenny Wayne Shepard, a Southern blues guitarist, Emerson Hart of Tonic, singers Mandy Moore and Peter Yorn, and rock group The Smithereens.

“As far as Shawn Colvin (a Grammy-winning singer/guitarist) is concerned,” says Verson, “we were able to place her as a voiceover for a major agency and we’re working on a deal for her to write music for one of the agencies we recently visited in San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado.”