The Lorax Featured in Insane New Mazda Commercial

by Russ Burlingame

Every so often, a commercial comes along to remind you why the rest of society hates ad copywriters and advertising executives.

Such a commercial rolled onto TV screens this week, featuring The Lorax--the titular hero of Dr. Seuss's beloved environmental parable and star of a new feature film out next week--shilling for the Mazda CX-5, which the automaker deigns the "Truffula Tree-certified" sport utility vehicle. Not a hybrid or a hydrogen vehicle, mind you, but a standard fuel-injected sport utility vehicle. While the ad campaign touts the vehicle's mileage as a boon to an environment, everyone from environmental advocates to Seuss aficionados are crying foul over this bizarre and misguided appropriation of the book.

That's right, folks; it has to be the most tone-deaf ad campaign at least since Dr. Pepper's recent sexist and bone-headed "It's Not For Women" campaign, and going back before that you would probably be hard-pressed to think of one that came close. Mother Jones calls the ad campaign an "atrocity" and Jason Bittel of the Fitting Group, a branding organization unconnected to the Mazda campaign, has crafted his own darkly hilarious take on the controversy which says, in part:

"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?"
Mazda executives--if you see a group of angry villagers waving pitchforks and wearing comically tall stovepipe hats, I'd head for the hills.

By Russ Burlingame

Russ Burlingame has been covering comics and pop culture since 1999. He has written for WIZARD: THE COMICS MAGAZINE, Comic Related, Newsarama, and more before settling in for the long haul at ComicBook.com back in 2011.