Digitas wins bands “Battle,” gives $8,200 to OTSC

Bob Howe of Havas’ band, The Supremos
Organized by Digitas’ technology executive Van Eiseman and his team as a first-time Chicago advertising-wide event, “The Battle for Hope: The Chicago Advertising Agency Battle of the Bands” to benefit the Off the Street Club was a winner in every respect.
Five bands composed of musician/staffers from Energy BBDO, Leo Burnett, Havas Worldwide,AnswersMedia and Digitas rocked the packed Cubby Bear bar in Wrigleyville April 25 to deliver $8,200 to OTSC, a safe haven for kids and advertising’s favorite charity for more than 100 years.
“Battle” planner Van Eiseman, Digitas VP/group director, technologyNeedless to say, the event was so well received, well run and beneficial to the cause that it definitely will return next year.
Digitas’ Deliverables was the winning band, so deemed by judges Jimmy Chamberlin, founding drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins and current CEO of LiveOne Group, a digital media company; Cullen Omori, lead singer of Smith Westerns, and Ari “Release” Neuberger, producer/writer for Vibe.
The winner also had to score high in number of tickets sold, number of attendees from their agency and texted votes for their favorite band after each set.
Digitas’ The DeliverablesAs its prize, Digitas will proudly display a white Epiphone Flying V trophy guitar for a year.  

“A lot of the bands were pretty close in the tally,” Eiseman says, “and all the bands did a great job of keeping the energy up throughout the night.”
Agency musicians also play in other bands
Other than the Deliverables, which is a five-year old, on-going 15-person band that entertains at agency events throughout the year, only Leo Burnett’s Many Places, with some agency members has a local following. The other bands, like Havas’ The Supremos, were organized just weeks earlier.
Drummer Steve Scott put The Supremos together with staffers who have a side interest in music and also play in other bands, after being asked by Havas CCO Jason Peterson, a supporter of the event. The Supremos would be a Motown cover band, “because we wanted to play songs people would know and recognize but that were simple to learn,” says Scott.
However, they found the songs they thought they could learn in a couple of weeks were “surprisingly difficult – the hardest easiest songs we ever learned.” Even with hard practice for several weeks, they all found it great fun and “we’re ready to do it again,” Scott says.
Team’s Battle plans began in January
Eiseman says he got the idea for the Chicago Battle of the Bands when the Digitas band was selected as one of the bands to play at the kickoff of New York’s Advertising Week in September, 2009-10. “We could do that here,” Eiseman decided, and make it a fund-raiser for the always-needy, always-grateful Off the Street Club.
Eiseman and his Digitas team of event coordinator Sujal Patel, VP/Architect, Technology; sponsorship and judging event manager  Kris English, media planner; and ticket sales and technical manager Simon Kissler, Principal Software Engineer started their Battle plans on Jan. 2.
They also worked with Digitas’ Caitlin Finn, Associate Director, Media and Event Liaison to coordinate efforts on behalf of the OTSC.
“Next year, our goal is to have as many agencies as we can fit into the lineup perform, especially if we hold the Battle on a weekend night, Eiseman says.
OTSC’s dedicated long-time director Ralph Campagna, was grateful for the additional help and support as the Club is in the midst of seeking donations for its Save Our Summer 2013 program to give children in tough neighborhoods a safe and memorable summer.
Sponsors were VIP sponsor Vibe; stage sponsor, Pandora; event sponsor, Google; raffle sponsor Collective and HipCricket, SMS voting sponsor.
Bands in order of their performance:
SAUCY BOSS, AnswersMedia, band liaison and bass, Bill Heublein; Allison Clark, vocals; John Skibicki, guitar/vocals;
Eric Kummerer, drums.

LOGO GRANDE, Energy BBDO, band liaison, Karah McGeown; Shannon Smiley, vocals/keyboard; Dan Fietsam, rhythm guitar; Christopher Hagenah, lead guitar; Kevin James, bass;
Vince Murray, drums.

MANY PLACES, Leo Burnett, band liaison, Michelle Mahoney;
Kevin Rieg, guitar/vocals; Neil Erker, guitar/backing vocals;
Nick Godden, bass; Matthew Hennessey, drums.

THE SUPREMOS, Havas Worldwide, band liaison, Kennon Reinard;
Robert Smith, guitar/vocals; Quentin Poytner, guitar/vocals
David Merriman, keyboard/vocals, Bob Howe, bass/vocals;
Steve Scott, drums.

THE DELIVERABLES, Digitas, band liaison and rhythm guitar, Van Eiseman; Jeanne Bright. Natalie Hank and Bill Moore, vocals;
Simon Kissler and Peter Sloterdyk, keyboard/backing vocals;
Nate Winter, lead guitar; Kevin Davis and Mike Scarpiello, bass; Rick Walter, drums.