Looking for greenwashing in advertisements this week I came across countless examples, but none quite as absurd and, quite honestly, offensive as this one. The beloved Dr. Seuss character who is the only environmentalist left in an industrialized world, who has his habitat torn apart, who hates the deceit and outright lies of the faux green world that is built using his Truffula Trees, ‘endorses’ a Mazda. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it the first time, and it’s no better now. I don’t know how much money the production team received to allow Mazda to use the character, but it is a bold testament to just how far companies are willing to go to deceive you. The willingness to drag Dr.Seuss, an american legend, to drag his magnum opus through the mud just to try to tell you that their car is good for the environment. Not only is it lying about being good for the environment, a standard that no vehicle to date has passed, it is lying about even being less bad than most other vehicles. The Mazda in question is a midsize SUV and gets 35 mpg in a year where the average light duty vehicle passenger car got 36.4 mpg. It isn’t even above average in that regard, yet suggest that it has won the only ‘Truffula Tree Seal of Approval.’ It’s almost comedic how they used a cartoon trying to expose the horrible nature of corporations and greed to indulge their greed. In addition to being Lorax themed and fully animated, the commercial has a sky blue colored car, features many of the Lorax characters up close as the car drives through the background (on a paved road I might add), and makes several references to it’s ‘skyactiv technology.’ I assumed this meant technology that was polluting the skies, but looked into it a little more than my base assumption. Skyactiv is the name Mazda uses to refer to its ‘fuel efficient’ engine, transmission, body and chassis. So in short, skyactiv means all the parts of a car with below average fuel efficiency.
Dr.Seuss’s reaction to this, probably