With climate change making wildfire seasons around the globe longer and hotter, a new iteration of the long-running “Smokey Bear” campaign is breaking today, called “Smokey Is Within.”
New spots are designed to inspire the public to “channel their inner Smokey” and learn more about wildfire prevention.
The PSA’s were created by FCB, the IPG creative agency that has been collaborating with Ad Council, National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service since the Smokey Bear fire prevention program was launched 1944.
Back then wildfire season was contained to warmer months, but the Ad Council notes that now the season has expanded to a “year-round event that every part of the country can be effected by.”
The group also says that 9 out 10 wildfires are human caused and preventable.
The PSA’s highlight how best to put out a campfire and properly attach a vehicle towing chain to avoid creating sparks while traveling. The spots direct viewers to SmokeyBear.com for more tips.
Actor Sam Elliott is heard at the end of each spot narrating the iconic tagline “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
FCB also gave Smokey a makeover in the spots to give him a “more lifelike look,” says Ida Gronblom, FCB Executive Creative Director. “We rebuilt his costume from scratch,” Gronblum adds. “By using animatronics to move his mouth and eyes, we gave true emotions to America’s favorite bear.”
“Smokey has been a household name for the last four generations,” said the USDA Forest Service’s Maureen Brooks. “What better way to continue his legacy and illustrate the power we all have in preventing wildfires than by showing the public how Smokey is within all of us.”