Illumination/Universal are getting ready to release their latest film The Lorax. the two unusual things about this film are:
- My finacee wants to see it
- The merchandising/tie-ins are “green”
Normally film studios will give lip service to the idea of the green agenda. Case in point is Captain Planet, which had some decidedly un-environmentally friendly toys.
This time around though, it seems like a genuine effort is being made. From the AP:
The EPA, for instance, is using the Lorax character to help promote low-power appliances that carry the Energy Star label. Hilton’s DoubleTree hotel chain is sponsoring a trip for four to eco-tourism mecca Costa Rica. The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is creating a Lorax-inspired route through its garden, which is home to a number of endangered trees.
Such tie-ins will probably do a good job of raising awareness amongst the public about environmental needs, but will they lead to lasting change? I doubt it. I mean, since when has film merchandise made a significant impact on consumer behaviour?
Normally things go great when the products are on the shelves, but like all tie-ins, their lifespan is limited, and we’ve all seen the products in the bargain bin featuring the film from 6 months ago that now look lost and forlorn. On top of that, we, as humans, are notoriously regimented in our ways. After a few months, most consumers who went green for the Lorax will be right back to their old way of doing things.
I can’t help but feel that stunts like this are more about the positive publicity than making real changes. What do you think? Is this green promotional campaign a gimmick or do you think it’ll stick with consumers?