Monday, July 16, 2012

the lorax: turkeys advertising christmas

As adults have to face the fact that the myriad potential of youth is largely unfulfilled, so they tend to idealise their formative years. Not just their personal youth, but everything about the times and society they grew up in. Thus people around 50 seem to think 1970s Britain - National Front marches tens of thousands strong, dogshit everywhere, queerbashing a normalised activity ignored (or participated in) by the police, and no decent curry to be found - as a glorious arcadia.

This determined nostalgia makes adults, now substantially richer than when they were 12, readily vulnerable to being fleeced by people who offer them any reminder of their youth. Thus we see 30-somethings spending 40 quid on fucking Take That tickets.

In 2003 there was a Cat In The Hat movie. It wasn't actually a movie, it was an unmitigated pile of shite. The Boston Globe said

At one point in "The Cat in the Hat," the Cat, played by Mike Myers, is mistaken for a pinata by a group of children at a birthday party. One by one, they line up to smack him, and the scene culminates with a husky lad swinging a baseball bat directly into the unfortunate feline's cojones.

That's a remarkably precise metaphor for what this movie does to the memory of Dr. Seuss. If the producers had dug up Ted Geisel's body and hung it from a tree, they couldn't have desecrated the man more.

Nonetheless $134,000,000 was handed over by people who went to see it. Even this was seen as a flop, and surely more money could be made from the Dr Seuss franchise. The lesson was learned and they decided not to make any more live action movies. Bring on the animation.and its marketing opportunities.

The thing with Dr Seuss is that it's not just whimsical tales with daft made up language and ear-stretching rhymes. The books have a clear agenda of encouraging children to explore themselves and the world, to be open minded, to not go for the greedy, destructive, mean and narrow - to reject all that marketing and advertising stands for.

The Lorax is perhaps the clearest of these. The Once-ler cuts down trees to make thneeds, a piece of junk that will make their seller rich. The Lorax come to speak for the trees, warning that if the Once-ler goes ahead then all the tress will be cut down and the forests will not regenerate.

Behold, the Lorax selling thneeds.

We're told the cars are Truffula Tree Friendly. The Mazda CX-5 has carbon emissions of 119g/km-144g/km, some 20%-50% higher than other cars presently available. And those lower emission cars are still an unsustainable environmental nightmare.

The solution is surely electric cars, a whole planet's worth of which, thanks to this ad, could be powered by a generator rigged up to the fast-spinning corpse of Theodore Geisel.


Jim Jepps said...

That is truly offensive - tut!

Tamsin Tresidder said...

Luckily I dont have much more money than I had when I was 12