Panasonic Taps Startup

Six months after opening, Ocean Group has landed project work from Panasonic and added a creative director.

John Short, cre a tive director at now-defunct Warwick Ba ker O’Neill, formed the New York-based shop in September with Lex mark as its first cli ent. That account had been at Warwick.

Short, CEO and chief creative, and partner Bruce Kra vetz, president, worked on Pan a sonic at Warwick.

Ocean Group’s Panasonic branding campaign, which breaks next week at New York’s Madison Square Garden, features 15 out-of-home executions meant to create a cohesive visual message for the company’s product lines, including consumer electronics, lighting and home appliances.

The work features a person interacting with a Panasonic product, a product description and the copy, “Ideas for life.” One 3- by 6-foot ad shows a man pushing a Toughbook portable computer through the air. The headline: “Handles mega hurts.”

The project does not affect Panasonic’s ties to its roster shops, which include Grey and the Kaplan Thaler Group, both New York.

Panasonic spent $20 million last year, half of what it spent in 2000 on media, according to CMR.

Separately, Karl Dunn this week becomes Ocean Group’s cd—reporting to Short—and eighth employee. He comes from Earle Palmer Brown, which he joined in August when the New York shop took on the U.S. Smoke less Tobacco Co. account and staffers from Warwick after it closed. Dunn, a copywriter, worked with Short, an art director, at Warwick on clients such as Fruit of the Loom, Lexmark and Panasonic.