Let’s all sing Happy Birthday to our favorite bear. Smokey turns 75 today!
Since 1944, Smokey has been spreading the message of wildfire prevention through stamps, print ads and television commercials. For 75 years Smokey has appeared in TV, radio, print and on posters, stamps, billboards, memorabilia and other forms of media.
He’s now an animated emoji voiced by Betty White, Al Roker and Stephen Colbert.
The USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council have teamed up with FCB, the original agency to work on Smokey, to celebrate his 75th birthday with this new campaign. Smokey’s new friends, including Colbert, are lending their voices to say more about wildfire prevention beyond Smokey’s usual five words, “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
The Drum reports that the intention is to add something new to Smokey. Ari Halper, chief creative officer at FCB New York, says Smokey’s message started to lose its relevance over the many years as people assume is always the same.
The celebrity voices speaking as an animated Smokey are sharing why they care about forests and why fire safety is important to them.
In addition to celebrating 75 years, Smokey may also be up for a star on the Hollywood walk of fame this year, and will get his own Macy’s balloon again, according to Adweek.