Palomar, Persaud start new firm

Venture to target urban, youth markets in diverse mediums

Los Angeles film, video and commercial production house Palomar Pictures and top Gotham-based urban entertainment marketer Persaud Bros. are launching a joint production venture, Persaud@Palomar, which will target urban and youth markets for commercials, videos, filmed entertainment and interactive media.

Palomar chairman/CEO Joni Sighvatsson, Palomar co-founder and president Jonathan Ker and Persaud Bros. president/CEO Michael Persaud will serve as Persaud@Palomar’s principals. The outlet will have offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Currently developing projects at Persaud@Palomar are helmers Theodore Witcher (“love jones”) and Jeff Byrd, director of the upcoming Artisan release “Book of Love.”

Founded in 1994, Persaud Bros. is a leading urban and youth marketing, promotional and advertising firm based in New York City with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta. The company’s clients include Tanqueray, Coke, HBO, Sprite, Procter & Gamble and Brand Jordan.

Arm pumps up

Persaud Bros. also maintains a management arm that represents clients including Budweiser’s “Whassup Guys” and actors Paul Williams, Fred Thomas and Scott Brooks, who are also developing projects for the fledgling division. Persaud plans to build its management arm through the greater access afforded by Persaud@Palomar.

“The word ‘urban’ emerged originally as a corporate euphemism for African-American, but its meaning has evolved over time as companies have caught onto the universal interest in hip-hop culture,” said Sighvatsson. “Today, ‘urban’ refers to sensitivities and sensibilities that are shared by people of all ages and ethnicities, who have grown up watching MTV, rooting for Michael Jordan and listening to Lauryn Hill and Ricky Martin. Persaud Brothers knows how to both reach and speak to this vast audience.”

Palomar was founded in 1992 and boasts a commercial client list that includes Coca-Cola, Ford, Nike, Honda, Miller and Kodak. After Sighvatsson acquired a stake in the company in 1999, the Sighvatsson and Ker team have embarked on an expansion strategy, starting three new divisions and focusing the company’s attention on the world of interactive media.

Going for young, urban

“For the past six years, Persaud Bros. has created and developed successful marketing and advertising strategies for clients who are trying to reach the young, urban consumer,” said Persaud. “For us, this partnership with Palomar Pictures is a logical next step.”

Sighvatsson previously served as president of Lakeshore Entertainment, where he oversaw films such as “The Real Blonde” and “Arlington Road.”

In 1987 Sighvatsson co-founded Propaganda Films, which earned 30 MTV Awards, two Emmys, four Clios, the Commercial Palme d’Or in Cannes as well as the Palme d’Or for best film for David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” during his tenure.

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