WASHINGTON, DC (September, 13, 2023) -- The Ad Council, National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service are releasing new PSAs today as part of the iconic Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign. Inspiring the public to share in the same values of responsibility and empowerment as Smokey himself, the new campaign reminds audiences that when we practice fire safety, Smokey is within us all, encouraging individuals to learn more about how to help prevent wildfires at SmokeyBear.com.
“Smokey has been a household name for the last four generations. His message has been heard and heeded by countless Americans who carry his iconic ‘Only you can prevent wildfires’ with them daily,” said USDA Forest Service National Wildfire Prevention and Community Mitigation Branch Chief 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.”
For nearly 80 years, Smokey has been the nation’s favorite bear educating the public on how to prevent human caused wildfires and his message is as important now as ever. Nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused and fully preventable. Recent data from FCB and AYTM Research shows that while 95% of Americans feel that they can make a difference in preventing fires, many don’t always know how.
WATCH THE NEW PSA, “FRIENDS,” HERE
Developed by FCB, the creative agency behind Smokey Bear since he was first introduced to the world in 1944, the new “Smokey is Within” campaign highlights everyday people who channel their inner Smokey Bear in moments of need. Whether on a camping trip, using the drown-stir-drown-feel method when putting out campfires or avoiding sparks by crossing tow chains or more, the new PSAs remind us that we all have Smokey’s wisdom within us and can always access his message and wildfire prevention tips at SmokeyBear.com.
WATCH THE NEW PSA, “GEARED UP GRANNY,” HERE
“It’s an honor to be carrying FCB and Smokey Bear’s legacy at a time when wildfire prevention has never been more important,” said Ida Gronblom, FCB Executive Creative Director. “‘Smokey Bear lives within us all’ is a powerful message to remind everyone that we all play a role in wildfire prevention. To give Smokey a more lifelike look, we rebuilt his costume from scratch. By using animatronics to move his mouth and eyes, we gave true emotions to America’s favorite bear.”
“The U.S. Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters, Ad Council and FCB have dedicated the last 79 years to spreading Smokey’s empowering message, ‘Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.’ But Smokey’s work is far from over. With nine out of every ten wildfires being caused by humans, our aim is to inspire individuals to look within themselves, channel their inner Smokey and keep educated and empowered to help reduce wildfires in America,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Office at the Ad Council.
“Individuals who frequent forests across the nation can play a major role in keeping our land safe from wildfires. When we look to ‘Smokey Within’ to help guide our actions, we’re tapping our universal capacity to be stewards of America’s forestlands,” said Kacey KC, Nevada State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters.
While most people associate the issue of wildfire prevention with warmer months, it is always wildfire season somewhere in the U.S. Therefore, in addition to the new creative, 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.
This campaign will be distributed across TV, radio, Out-Of-Home (OOH) and digital throughout the country and is an extension of the USDA Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters and Ad Council's ongoing partnership to prevent human-caused wildfires where we live, work and play. To learn more about wildfire prevention, visit SmokeyBear.com.
About The Ad Council
The Ad Council convenes creative storytellers to educate, unite and uplift audiences by opening hearts, inspiring action and accelerating change around the most pressing issues in America. Since the non-profit’s founding, the organization and its partners in advertising, media, marketing and tech have been behind some of the country’s most iconic social impact campaigns – Smokey Bear, A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Love Has No Labels, Tear the Paper Ceiling and many more. With a current focus on mental health, gun safety, the opioid epidemic, skill-based hiring and other critical issues, the Ad Council’s national campaigns encompass advertising and media content, ground game and community efforts, trusted messenger and influencer engagement, and employer programs, among other innovative strategies to move the needle on the most important issues of the day.
About U.S.D.A. 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.
About 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.
FCB New York has been recognized globally for using creativity as an economic multiplier to drive meaningful business results for its clients, among them AB InBev, the FDA, Morningstar Farms, New York Mets and Spotify. In 2023 alone, the agency was nominated for an EMMY in sports, awarded Agency of the Year by the Clios, honored as WARC’s #1 Creative Agency for Effectiveness, named to Contagious Pioneers’ list of best and bravest agencies in the world, and chosen as Campaign’s Experiential and B2B Agency of the Year.
The Ad Council