Animoji Smokey Bear on cell phone screen

New Smokey Bear PSAs feature fictional AI Assistant to remind Americans of important wildfire prevention tips

WASHINGTON—The USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council are reminding Americans everywhere of important wildfire prevention tips with new PSAs featuring a virtual Artificial Intelligence Smokey Bear assistant. In both digital and radio spots, Smokey’s AI Assistant gives answers to some of the top questions Americans have about outdoor fire safety.

“As we look ahead into this fire year, it’s as important as ever for all Americans to join Smokey Bear and do their part in preventing unwanted, human caused wildfires,” said USDA Forest Service National Wildfire Prevention Program Manager Maureen Brooks. “This new campaign reminds all of us to be responsible when enjoying the outdoors.”

This year’s PSAs—developed by FCB, the creative agency that’s been with Smokey Bear since his introduction in 1944 – teach the basics in careful outdoor grilling and safe campfire building. Additional resources on how to spend time outdoors responsibly—including tips for visiting local green spaces and burning yard debris, as well as free coloring books and activity guides for educators and parents—are available at SmokeyBear.com.



Todd Sussman, FCB NY Chief Strategy Officer said “Smokey Bear has been an iconic character and part of the FCB story since 1944. With each new campaign we are constantly revisiting how he can stay true to his purpose, while still embodying new innovations to keep him relevant today. Through Smokey’s AI Assistant, we’ve doubled down on our continued core mission to unleash creativity fueled by diversity, data and technology for all of our clients.”

“This year, Smokey Bear is going beyond his usual message that ‘Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,’” said Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer Michelle Hillman. “Smokey’s an icon across many different media, and we’re happy to see him now featured as an AI Assistant voice that helps with fire-related questions, from grilling to putting out campfires.”

“Have you ever wondered: ‘what would Smokey Bear do?’ State forestry agencies want to make sure you have all the answers when it comes to wildfire prevention,” said Jay Farrell, National Association of State Foresters Executive Director. “Smokey’s AI Assistant has answered some of your questions, but we know you have more. Consider asking your state forestry agency for help or visiting SmokeyBear.com for step-by-step safety guides on equipment maintenance and debris burning.”

In addition to the AI Assistant, the campaign partnered with design lab Amplifier to develop new artworks and coloring book pages as educational resources to teach students the importance of wildfire prevention. The art features Smokey Bear reimagined in a variety of different styles, including 16-bit and anime, and was sent to the teachers of over 1 million students across the country. The work was also converted into gifs that can be shared online.

This campaign is an extension of the USDA Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters and Ad Council’s ongoing partnership to prevent human-caused, unwanted wildfires where we live, work and play. To learn more about wildfire prevention, visit SmokeyBear.com.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org.

USDA Forest Service
The 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 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
Since its start in 1920, the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) has served as a leading authority on forest management in the United States. NASF’s members are the primary delivery system for forest management activities nationwide. They conserve, enhance, and protect state and private forests, which encompass nearly two-thirds of the nation’s forests, and are responsible for wildfire protection on more than 1.5 billion acres. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.

Media Contact
Sean Williams
Ad Council
swilliams@adcouncil.org
(212) 808-1519