“Forgotten Hollywood”- Happy Birthday Smokey Bear…

Posted on August 8, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

1960s   Smokey Bear is turning 70 on Saturday. As the friendly bruin with the brimmed hat and shovel enters his golden years, his steadfast message of responsible fire prevention hasn’t changed.

   Smokey Bear was created in 1944 because of fears that America’s enemies would set forest fires while most firefighters were in battle overseas. When the war ended, Smokey stuck around — and he is at the center of the longest-running public service announcement campaign in US history. Research shows he is known by 96%  of American adults, and ranks near Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus for name recognition. His creation was a collaborative effort of the  National Association of State Foresters, US Forest Service, and the Ad Council.

   Smokey traditionally never spoke in his public service messages except for his signature line — Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires. When he first debuted, television was in its infancy and posters were hand-drawn. Smokey Bear’s ad campaign got a boost in 1950 when a real bear cub that had been rescued from a New Mexico wildfire was nursed back to health and sent to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, as the living Smokey.

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   Now, Smokey is a social media connoisseur and a prolific blogger, with his own accounts on Facebook, Twitter (@Smokey_Bear), Instagram, and Flickr. He has more than 300,000 friends on Facebook and 24,000 people follow him on Twitter. Fans can sign a virtual card and upload pictures at www.smokeybear.com. People still enjoy contacting Smokey the old-fashioned way, too. He has his own ZIP code (20252 in 1952), as his popularity soared, and it was reactivated in the summer. A series of YouTube videos created around his latest birthday show Smokey giving hugs (#SmokeyBearHug) to campers who properly build and extinguish camp fires, and also safely dispose of used barbeque charcoal, among other things.

callout-smokey-mask   Happy birthday to the cultural icon of a most reliable campaign… Smokey Bear!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 2:30 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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