I posted about the Naked Cowboy vs. Mars, Inc. lawsuit back in June. Robert Burck sued the candy company for copyright infringement when they created a blue M&M in his likeness and plastered it over Times Square. (On his turf no less).
Over the past couple of days I have noticed there was a lot of traffic on this blog with the search term Naked Cowboy. I did a quick scan and guess what?
Apparently he has settled. And get this, the NY Post is reporting the settlement was for $4 million!!
What a great country. Where a raving lunatic half-naked singing cowboy can hang in Times Square and create an intellectual property that warrants a multi-million dollar settlement.
Check out his website. Seems all those years of freezing his scantily clad butt off on the streets of NY has enabled him to create a brand that has yielded an EP called Year of the Cowboy, a podcast available on iIunes (yes there is a typo on his website), an MTV video, and Naked Cowboy.TV.
He is even available for Business/Appearance Opportunities through Naked Cowboy Enterprise. Under what circumstances would a business want to hire this guy? Who knows. Think creatively. And surely he would be the hit of any over-the-top Bar Mitzvah or Sweet 16.
Think about this. If you create a brand, no matter how ridiculous, and you are persistent and stick with the essence of that brand, the possibilities are endless.
Oh right, and if a major corporation does not do their homework on copyright infringement of an intellectual property, that helps too. To the tune of $4 million smackaroos…
Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog where Jana joins in the election bloglove.
For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.
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File this under more crazy lawsuits in the news. Actually, this one makes sense to me. I have always been a fan of creating an intellectual property.
If you have ever been in Times Square you are no stranger to the Naked Cowboy. 10 years ago the image of this guy in tighty whities (not hanky pankies) might have been a shock. But these days New Yorkers just pass him by as if he were the typical NY street sight that he is.
In this era of creating a brand, Robert Burck has trademarked the Naked Cowboy signature look (underwear, white guitar and cowboy hat) and has made several television and movie appearances in costume, including for a televised audition on the American Idol reality TV program, the lawsuit said.
I am pretty sure this guy is a genius.
It seems that our naked boy is suing Mars, Inc., the makers of M&Ms and their ad agency for creating a billboard with a blue M&M dressed in his outfit.
Now, I have been in the PR/marketing and promotion biz for way more years than I care to admit. For the life of me I don’t understand how these guys thought they could get away with this. Alright, so maybe it is a stretch to know that this guy actually trademarked his look. But he has been around way too long and has been too recognizable an icon on the streets of our great city for an agency to not do their due diligence and confirm that this would be cool. (oh right, the agency is in Ohio – no offense to my Ohio friends). They are claiming that the campaign is a parody and they have a first amendment right to use the image. A bit of a stretch, no?
This crazy cowboy is going so far as to say he does not endorse this product and made mention of Type 2 Diabetes. (I work on a Type 2 Diabetes drug, maybe we should look into signing him as our celeb spokesperson!). Another bit of a stretch. Would he not except large sums of money to endorse the product if offered it? I mean really, are we to believe that a guy that has made a living for the last 10 years wearing underwear in Times Square in all kinds of weather is driven by some lofty set of morals?
This all gets me thinking. Perhaps I should trademark my look. What? You think a black t-shirt and jeans is not available for trademark?
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