Smokey Celebrates 70th... and A New Attitude

This summer, Smokey Bear celebrated his 70th birthday – and the same number of years with FCB as his agency of record.

For the past 70 years, Smokey has been an American Icon—standing with enviable posture and iconic hat, helping to keep American forests safe. And they haven’t been idle years either -- the number of acres of forest lost to fire has dropped from 22 million per year in 1944 to 6.7 million a year currently.

The campaign against forest fires featuring Smokey is one of the longest running and most successful of its kind. But somewhere in those 70 years, in an example of art imitating life perhaps, Smokey has reprioritized things a bit as he’s gotten older. He isn’t as strict. The pointing finger some of us may remember is gone replaced by bear hugs and rewards for those who take measures to prevent forest fires. Not to mention, a twitter account that boasts nearly 27,000 followers!

Of course, Smokey won’t change too much. Perhaps you can’t – or shouldn’t – teach an old bear new tricks.

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