Dr. Seuss: Before He Drew Great Children’s Illustrations, He Drew Great Ads

Before we knew him as Dr. Seuss, he was Theodore Seuss Geisel, adman. As early as 1927 he was illustrating ads for Ford, GE and NBC campaigns. His illustrative style was the same, even then.

After graduating from Oxford, he worked as a cartoonist (not surprisingly) until his cartoons were picked up by an advertising agency. He was hired as an illustrator and was really successful at it. It’s so cool to see these recognizable Dr. Seuss characters in a different setting than his children’s books.

Recent conversations surrounding the new Lorax movie have been interesting as well.

The Lorax has a lot of people talking about the relationship of entertainment and advertising. The new movie has over 70 partner tie-ins; among them brands like Mazda, HP, and Target.

That’s a surprising amount of partnerships for any movie, but what makes it controversial is that The Lorax is a children’s book by Dr. Seuss that warns of corporate greed and its inherent danger to the environment. Opening weekend was a success for the movie, the second best ever (after Avatar) for a movie about environmental issues. However that’s exactly what’s upsetting to critics – the core message of The Lorax is totally opposite to all this commercial messaging.

Media and audience alike have reacted negatively towards not only the immense amount of Lorax-themed ad placements, but especially to the greenwashing brands like Mazda put out. The amount of dislikes and upset comments on their commercial speaks loud and clear…

“The more tie-in’s, the more good something is.” – Stephen Colbert

See part two of this post HERE.



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