New Smokey Bear Digital-First Creative Highlights Lesser Known Wildfire Causes
Washington, D.C., August 09, 2017— In honor of Smokey Bear’s 73rd birthday, the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters launched new digital-first videos and artwork inspired by beloved Smokey Bear posters to raise awareness of lesser known wildfire starts in an effort to decrease human-caused wildfires. The new artwork was created by Brian Edward Miller, Evan Hecox, Janna Mattia and Victoria Ying, portraying Smokey Bear in each of their unique styles.
“Humans cause nearly 90 percent of all wildfires nationwide, which today burn hotter and longer, destroying millions of forested acres and homes; Smokey needs our help now more than ever,” says U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “It is helpful to provide information to children and adults about the less commonly known wildfire causes such as improperly burning debris and not fully extinguishing ashes and hot coals. By bringing awareness and inspiring responsibility, we hope to show how important it is to be mindful of how everyday activities can start harmful fires.”
FCB West has proudly developed pro bono public service announcements (PSAs) for Smokey Bear, longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history, since his birth in 1944. The new digital-first videos and new artwork will be supported by an extensive social media program, including Smokey Bear’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
We’re thrilled to continue to evolve Smokey Bear’s beloved look and digital presence, while harkening back to the campaign’s beginning in the 1940s when we all fell in love with him. FCB has worked on this campaign for 73 years, representing the longest pro bono agency partnership in U.S. history, and these new videos and artwork beautifully extend Smokey’s message of personal responsibility,” shares Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of Ad Council.
“It’s always wildfire season somewhere in the United States, and State Foresters experience first-hand the many causes of wildfires beyond abandoned campfires—improper burning of debris, dumping hot ashes, and others. The new Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention Campaign’s creative elements will help state forestry agencies continue to educate the public in an effort to help reduce the number of human-caused wildfires,” said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester and president of the National Association of State Foresters.
Smokey Bear has been a recognized symbol of wildfire prevention since August 9, 1944. Although progress has been made, wildfires remain one of the most critical environmental issues affecting the U.S. On average, nearly nine out of 10 wildfires nationwide today are caused by people. In addition to the causes depicted in the new PSAs, the main causes of wildfire include campfires or warming fires being left unattended or improperly extinguished, debris burning on windy days, improper discarding of smoking materials or BBQ coals, and operating equipment without spark arrestors.
“Smokey Bear has long been synonymous with wildfire prevention education and the great outdoors. This new digital campaign unexpectedly brings Smokey Bear out of the woods and into engaging and relatable interactions with people. This evolution in the iconic figure of Smokey Bear brings him closer to a younger audience and further cements his reputation as wildfire prevention’s most loveable spokesperson” said Joe Oh, CEO and President FCB West.
The Ad Council will distribute the new digital-first videos and artwork across Smokey Bear’s social media channels as well as smokeybear.com and the new Spanish language website smokeybear.com/es. Per the organization’s model, the assets will be promoted and run in advertising time and space that is entirely donated. Over the last 73 years, media outlets have donated more than $1 billion in time and space for the Wildfire Prevention campaign.
U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
National Association of State Foresters
The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) is a non-profit organization composed of the directors of forestry agencies in the states, territories and the District of Columbia of the United States. NASF represents state and territorial forester interests by influencing forest policy and leading efforts to optimize social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees and forests. As a partner with the U.S. Forest Service, State Foresters are committed to the continued delivery of Smokey Bear's message of personal responsibility in wildfire protection. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.
The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or view our PSAs on YouTube.
With more than 140 years of communications expertise, FCB’s worldwide network spans 150 offices in 90 countries, with over 8,000 people, and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG). For more information, visit www.fcb.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@FCBglobal) and Facebook (FCB Global).
Casey Warnick, The Ad Council, 212-808-1509, [email protected]
Babete Anderson, U.S. Forest Service, 202-205-1782, [email protected]
Amanda Cooke, National Association of State Foresters, 202-624-5417, [email protected]
Gabrielle Simpson, FCB, 212-885-3130, [email protected]