You may have heard by now that people are calling for the world to boycott the Lorax because of the marketing tie-ins. I not only will not boycott the Lorax, but I want to proclaim that I support the Lorax. I also support the companies that are using it in their marketing campaigns (granted I don't need an HP or a Mazda, but if I was in the market for either one I'd buy just BECAUSE of this).
The first thing was the Lorax in a treadmill, running to power an illuminated HP logo. This bothers people because it's not subtle. Who cares? For years we have seen common icons promoting a brand. Cross promotion is important because it it creates brand recognition and campaign recognition immediately. Do you think 6 year old are going to want an HP computer because of the Lorax? No, moron. They scream "Mommy! Daddy! The Lorax is on TV" at which point mommy and daddy look and get to hear about the new HP whatever that the commercial is selling. Who loses here? Honestly. Anyone?
The bigger issue is the Mazda reading event. Here's how that plays out:
- Big fluffy Lorax show up at a school (human in a Lorax costume)
- Mazda covered in movie related items is parked outside
- Mazda gives $1,000 to the school library
- Kids are told they can raise up to $1 million dollars and win a trip for 4 to Universal Studios if they get their parents to test drive it
- Mazda donates $25 for every parent that brings some school certificate to the test drive.
So... when you boil it all down we end up with the school receiving money, which is good. Kids pay attention to reading hour because their cartoon icon du jour is reading it, which is good. Mazda plays to the kids emotion to sell cars, which may be shady but they're the one donating the money so it's worth it. Mazda sells cars to parents, which is good for Mazda.
If the Mazda was a piece of shit then it wouldn't matter how much the kids bitch. The quality of the car stands on its own. Besides, no adult with half a brain will buy a car just because the kid saw a Truffula tree on the side of one - once. So who gets hurt here? Are we exploiting kids? I don't think so. How are the kids being used in an unfair way?
There's one last piece to this. The Mazda has gotten the Truffula tree seal of approval. The message here is that it's eco-friendly. However, people are up in arms about the false advertising. Really, knotheads? It's a fictional tree from a fictional story about a fictional tree. The Truffula tree doesn't fucking exist. So what are your panties in a twist about? Do you know the story of the Lorax. It's a metaphor in the first place that teaches a lesson about the environment and ecology. If you want to take a story with a moral and pair with a product that shares the same morals, what the hell is wrong with that? The Hummingfish support the Mazda. Well the Hummingfish, if you recall, moved away because of pollution but they support the Mazda. That means it's cleaner.
We all know cars are not clean. But let's face facts, this isn't Europe. The country isn't set up for mass transportation. If you feel that strongly about it, walk your fat ass to work. Cars are here to stay, hippies, no matter what you think. So if one company is concerned about the environment to the point that they are willing to stake their reputation on it against a popular movie making millions to teach a lesson about protecting the environment, then more power to them.
Bottom line, there has got to be better ways to spend your energy. And boycotting the Lorax? What does that do? Leverages the plight of the poor children in a way that prevents them from seeing a movie they have been waiting for. Takes the lesson of being eco-friendly out of their lives. So Mazda and the Lorax paired up to put a positive message out (and sell some products) and you call it exploitation of the children. Yet boycotting the movie at the expense of the children's wants to see it (the same children who have no clue about this marketing stuff anyway) is not exploitation? Which one really affects them in the end?
If you boycott this movie over this, let me know so I can boycott you because you are an idiot.