:16: No Seuss For You, Mazda!


Above is the trailer for the new Dr. Seuss movie, The Lorax, coming to theaters on March 2, 2012. Stemming from the original book written in 1971, the movie takes us to a time where civilization looks almost the same except for the lack of plants. In fact, in this world, nobody has ever seen a real tree before.

Of Course, Dr. Seuss is commenting on the environmental danger that our planet is in by showing us a glimpse of how tragic life would be if we weren’t surrounded by nature. This could not be a more perfect time to transform the book into a movie to raise awareness about what cars are doing to the planet.

Unfortunately, we live in a capitalist society, which means there is money to be made and often people to exploit. So without further adieu, I present the Mazda CX-5 ad promoting The Lorax.


Just to clarify, here are the exact words used by the narrator concerning Mazda:

“Who delivers outstanding fuel efficiency without compromising the joy of driving?

Mazda, with Skyactiv technology

And who received the only certified truffala tree seal of approval?

Mazda, with Skyactiv technology.”

“Only Mazda could re-imagine driving with revolutionary Skyactiv technology. We build Mazdas. What do you drive?”

Uhh..what? I’m sorry, but what about the car? I did not hear one fact regarding Mazda in that entire commercial, but rather just some loose claims as the odd-looking car strolled through a Dr. Seuss world.

What in the world is Skyactiv technology and why does Mazda feel consumers need it so badly?

This ad is a disgrace to Dr. Seuss. I would love to see the movie, but I won’t be buying a Mazda anytime soon. The Lorax was a book that taught children the importance of preserving the environment. So right away, we are confusing those children by using a car of all things to market the movie? Come on people…we can do better than that.

Please take the time to read this Seuss-style poem on the issue by Jason Bittel, a branding professional:

this poem can be found here -> http://www.fittingroup.com/blog/advertising/the-lorax-endorses-what

“It all started way back…
Such a long, long time back…
Way back in the days when the grass was still green
And the pond was still wet
And the clouds were still clean…”

Those epic words set the mood and the scene
for Dr. Seuss’s “Lorax”
A parable for children about being green
And tongue-twisty syntax.

But like all good ideas
(and quite a few bad)
Hollywood took an interest
In the money to be had.
They commissioned a screenplay, cast actors,
And sold advertising spots,
Complete with product placements and brand pairings –
You know the lot.

But we have to wonder, did they think even a bit?
About the message they were sending – or worse –
The one they’d omit?

A Lorax-branded combustion engine? I mean, seriously?
Not a hydrogen? Not an electric?
Not even a Thneed-sponsored cross-breed?

No offense to Mazda.
I’m sure their Skyactiv technology is swell indeed.
But you won’t save the Bar-ba-loots or Swomee Swans
with 10 measly MPGs.
And I must be missing how its exhaust is “friendly”
to you, me or the Truffala Trees.

Whoever is in charge of branding
For the Lorax’s mula-making machine –
Have you read the book you’re hijacking?
Did you misinterpret what it means?

Because the takeaway this ad emits
Reeks the wrong shade of “green.”

by Jason Bittel



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