WASHINGTON—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.
“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.