New Smokey Bear PSAs Urge Responsibility as People Spend More Time Outside

Ahead of spring outdoor recreation season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council have announced a new public service advertisement (PSA) from Smokey Bear’s Wildfire Prevention campaign encouraging Americans to explore nature responsibly by taking steps to prevent wildfires.

“Smokey Bear continues his mission in this campaign to remind people to act responsibly where we live, work and play to prevent unwanted human caused wildfires,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “We are proud to partner with the Ad Council and the National Association of State Foresters on this critical campaign.”

Created pro bono by FCB, the new Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention PSA reiterates Smokey Bear’s iconic message that “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.” Actress Isabella Gomez is lending her voice to Smokey through the use of animated emoji technology, joining previous stars such as Stephen Colbert, Al Roker, Jeff Foxworthy and Betty White. Isabella’s spot reminds listeners that dumping hot barbeque coals or ashes on the ground can start wildfires – an especially relevant tip as Americans look to fire up their grills ahead of summer.

In addition to the video creative, the campaign has also created outdoor work featuring Smokey’s animated emoji across a variety of US regions – including the Southeast and the West.

“This platform is ever evolving. And at a time when people are more eager than ever to take to the outdoors, it’s important to lend the bear’s voice to prominent talent that will help it resonate,” said FCB New York’s Co-Chief Creative Officer Gabriel Schmitt. “It’s our job to make sure everyone hears it.”

“Time outdoors has never felt more valuable than it does right now,” said Michelle Hillman, Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer. “We know people can’t wait to get outside as weather warms up, and this new work harnesses our previously successful animated emoji technology to remind Americans to explore the outdoors safely.”

This new creative is an extension of the USDA Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters and Ad Council’s ongoing partnership to address wildfire prevention and protecting our nation’s public lands. It is the first of several Wildfire Prevention initiatives to launch this year; and will be followed up with a Be Outdoor Safe push before Memorial Day and the release of a full suite of new creative assets. To learn more about what you can do to prevent wildfires, visit www.SmokeyBear.com.

“Smokey’s image is recognized by eight out of ten Americans1, and his work to prevent wildfires is far from over. Smokey Bear needs your help,” said Joe Fox, NASF president and Arkansas state forester. “This summer in particular, given all the limitations the pandemic has put on our emergency responders, please do your part to help ensure our nation’s most treasured landscapes—and the people and wildlife who call them home—are safe from wildfire.”

PSAs will run nationwide in time and space donated by the media, per the Ad Council’s model.

For tips on how you can help prevent wildfires, visit SmokeyBear.com and follow Smokey Bear on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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