As outrageous as this is (a childhood story icon directly promoting a commercial brand), it’s actually not the most disturbing thing about the tie-ins from the movie “The Lorax”. This is:
- Mazda donates $1,000 to the school library (great!…)
- Kids are told (marketed?) they can raise up to $1 million and…
- … win a trip for 4 to Universal Studios…
- … if they persuade their parents to test drive a Mazda.
“I track school advertising for a living,” said Josh Golin, associate director of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “This is among the most outrageous examples of any school advertisement program I’ve ever heard of.”
- Oh, and Mazda “donates” $25…
- … if their parents bring a special cert from their kids for the test-drive.
Outside the school, hundreds of kids — including many who hadn’t been privy to the Lorax reading event — filed past the two Mazda vehicles on display. Some reached out to touch the cars. A few kneeled to have their photographs taken. Others erupted into a spontaneous chant.“Lorax car, Lorax car, Lorax car!” they said.
Also, on Mazda’s TV Commercial…
In their commercial (link to Youtube)…
Commercial excerpt: “Mazda, with Skyactiv Technology, and who received the only Truffula Tree Seal of Approval.”
The Hummingfish who moved away because of the pollution brought in by the the story’s antagonist are now promoting the Mazda SUV.
What can I do?
It’s ultimately up to you, but here are a few suggestions:
1) Don’t watch the movie or support its tie-ins (I won’t)
2) Spread the word and help begin a movement!
3) Sign a couple Petitions
- Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s “Save the Lorax” (seems broader, covers other brands)
- Change.org’s “MAZDA: Stop forcing the Lorax to sell dangerous, polluting cars.”
4) Discuss/Comment at bottom of this page
Outrage over the Internet (feel free to post more in comments, I’ll update this):
- The Washington Post: The Lorax helps market Mazda SUVs to elementary school children nationwide (my original source, till I found others)
- BrandChannel: The Lorax Cannot, Will Not, Truffula Tree-Certify Your Brand (this one had HP’s Youtube commercial on it)
- The Guardian: Greenwash and hamming it up – Mazda makes a mess of CX-5 advert
- Gawker: Stephen Colbert Uses Verse to Express His Disappointment with the Lorax’s Many Product Tie-Ins
- Mother Jones: The Lorax: Blowing Smogulous Smoke
- Truffula Buffs Rebuff Mazda: The Lorax Selling Cars? Enough Is Enough!
- The Smart Mama: Has Universal Pictures’ The Lorax forgotten the lessons learned? #Loraxwashing
- Common Dreams: Save the Lorax: Shun the Stuff