Thursday, July 15, 2010

Smokey Bear stars in new PSAs

Smokey Bear has returned to remind Americans that “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”

The Advertising Council recently joined with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) and an educational DVD for elementary school students designed to provide critical information to Americans about wildfire prevention.

Since his “birth” on August 9, 1944, Smokey Bear has been a recognized symbol of conservation and protection of America’s forests. His message about wildfire prevention has helped to reduce the number of acres burned annually by wildfires, from about 22 million in 1944 to an average of just 6.5 million today!

However, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical environmental issues affecting our country. Many Americans believe that lightning starts most wildfires. In fact, on average, 9 out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by people. The principle causes are campfires left unattended, trash burning on windy days, arson, careless discarding of smoking materials or BBQ coals, and operating equipment without spark arrestors.

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has been communicating his well-known message, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” It's the longest running campaign in Ad Council history.

Launched this year the newest PSAs in the campaign feature a modern version of Smokey Bear with the call-to-action to Get Your Smokey On and speak up if you see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.

Below are one of the new PSAs:

For those of you feeling a little nostalgic about the old campaign ADs from back in the day, you can visit Smokey Bear's Channel on Youtube to see some old favorites such as Sleeping Beauty and the classic Bambi ADs. In all, there are 59 videos from past and present on the channel right now.

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