A Huge Rock Band Is Taking Breakfast Cereal To Court
OK Go is suing Post Foods over the use of Ok Go on the companies new line of to-go breakfast cereal.
If you’re an equal parts fan of rock n’ roll and breakfast on the go, you’re in for the civil war of a lifetime. Variety is reporting that the band OK Go, which has worked with brands in the past including Chevrolet, Apple TV+, and State Farm, has taken Post Foods, a Minnesota headquartered snack and cereal brand to court over the branding on their new “OK Go” cereal product. The band’s lead singer, Damian Kulash, stated in an interview “There are so many other things you could call your f**king cereal. Just pick one. Nobody looks good in this. Just pick a new name.”
The product in question is a to-go cup containing cereal and powdered milk to offer consumers the ability to have a bowl of breakfast cereal by simply adding water. The cup touts “OK go!” in enormous block letters on the packaging, which the band claims infringes upon the copyright of their name. Trademark laws can be difficult to tackle in court, as the accusing party must prove a number of factors, including a reasonable degree of competition between the two brands.
Because of the difficult nature of trademark law, OK Go’s brand lawyers have been rocking and rolling through the courts for the last month trying to straighten this issue out. Kulash argues that the band’s long history of working with brand names may cause consumers to think the cereal was made in accordance with the band’s support, and refuses to use his platform to endorse the brand for free. This makes an abundance of sense considering the band has previously collaborated with Post Foods in the past already, guest starring in a Honey Bunches of Oats Youtube film in 2011.
Part of OK Go’s gimmick as a band is their frequent use of brand collaboration, which they use to synergistically promote upcoming album outings and tours, crafting specially made music videos in accordance with high paying brand names. The band’s trademark lawyer has pointed out that the to-go containers effectively nullify the band’s ability to participate in any other cereal of food brand deals, as the use of “OK Go” on food packaging would conversely infringe upon Post’s copyright. Post Foods claims that they reached out to the band before rolling out their product in January, but the band says they never received any correspondence.
OK Go’s music has appeared in such films as Friends with Benefits, The Cabin in the Woods, and 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The band’s reach is well established in their industry, and the use of “OK go!” packaging in place of the more obvious “to-go” seems to suggest that Post Foods is aware of this name recognition. Though it may be difficult to prove, the legal battle is currently ongoing, with no sight of either side giving up any time soon.
Beyond the litigation, OK Go is currently working on a new album, so a slew of new advertising ventures may be forthcoming. Of course, we won’t hold our breath for the band to work with Post Foods again after this frustrating legal battle is over. Damian Kulash is also working on a feature film, though little is known about the project at this time.