"The Lorax On Modern Eco-Marketing: ‘I Speak For The Trees! But Also For Mazda SUVs!’"
The Lorax was #1 at the box office for the second straight week. That dismayed conservatives, no doubt, who dissed the movie because of its anti-pollution, anti-unsustainability message. But it’s no surprise to anyone who actually saw the entertaining movie based on the Dr. Seuss classic.
But “whoever was in charge of promoting the film either didn’t get the message, or didn’t care,” as Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones has explained:
… the movie is being used to promote a new gasoline-powered crossover SUV from Mazda. Mazda is partnering with the film and the National Education Association for the Read Across America program. The automobile maker has agreed to give a $1,000 donation to 21 schools in 20 cities to support their libraries, and an additional $25 every time a kid convinces their parents to go take a Mazda for a test drive.
The most glaring indicator that the marketing department is out of touch with the film is that it includes a musical number from the Once-ler about how capitalism is awesome and everyone needs a Thneed, which plays over a scene of his company decimating the landscape with all its biggering and biggering. It includes a flash of a billboard featuring an image of the Lorax, who is definitely not happy about this situation, sporting a Thneed under the headline “Lorax approved!” Somehow, the irony was lost on the marketing department, which has backed a long list of 70 “Lorax-approved” launch partners.
There’s also an ironic mention in the movie that 5% of the environment-destroying corporate profits go to charity
Cartoonist Ruben Bolling created this humorous strip on the Lorax today: