Next to the slogan “Planting trees can make you hungry!” the grinning orange ambassador for green living invites children to partake in pancakes “filled with sprinkles, topped with more sprinkles, and a creamy strawberry yogurt sauce.” Not appealing? What about a “Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberry Cone Cake,” a pancake stuffed inside a waffle cone topped with sugary blueberry compote and powdered sugar?
Execs at Universal Studios have already taken heat for using the classic 1971 Dr. Suess book to promote Mazda SUVs to kids, and this seems to be another example of Hollywood’s tone deafness when it comes to the message of the film.
In order to create a plausible connection between green living and sugar-filled sprinkle pancakes, IHOP is giving kids a Lorax bookmark made of seed paper. The paper contains a mix of Blue Spruce and Canadian White Pine seeds, which IHOP proudly says can grow 20-40 feet wide.
It’s all a bit of a stretch. In reality, the only thing a Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberrry Cone Cake and Blue Spruce have in common is the word “blue.”
The IHOP site reprints a bit of classic prose from the book: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Parents trying to get their kids to make good food choices might want to take the message to heart.