Smokey Bear Campaign

  • First Fire Prevention Week Held

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Fire Marshals Association of North America, organized the first fire prevention day to commemorate the great Chicago fire in 1911. The event grew to such proportions that they ended up making the event a week long in 1922.
  • The 1st Face to Campaign

    The 1st Face to Campaign
    Bambi was used as the "spokesperson" of the forest fire prevention campaign. Disney had allowed Bambi to be used for only a year.
  • Lookout Air Raids of 1942

    Lookout Air Raids of 1942
    The Japanese had launched over 9,000 balloon borne incendiary devices via submarines targeting the Pacific Northwest
  • The Creation of Smokey Bear

    The Creation of Smokey Bear
    The debut poster depicting Smokey Bear was released continuing with the popular animal theme of Bambi
  • Original Slogan

    The original slogan was made. "Remember...Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires."
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    Radio Advertisements Beginnings

    Ad Council sponsored radio advertisements, featuring Smokey Bear "in conversation" with prominent American celebrity stars such as Bing Crosby, Art Linkletter, Dinah Shore, Roy Rogers, and many others.[
  • The Real Smokey Bear

    The Real Smokey Bear
    A bear cub was rescued from a forest fire in New Mexico. Upon rehabilitation, the bear was sent to the National Zoo in D.C. Now the campaign had a real life face.
  • Smokey Bear Act

    Removed the character from the public domain and placed it under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture. The act provided for the use of Smokey's royalties for continued education on the subject of forest fire prevention.
  • Smokey Bear Doll Creation

    Smokey Bear Doll Creation
    A Smokey Bear doll was vended by Ideal Toys. The doll included a mail-in card for children to become Junior forest rangers.
  • 1st Children's Book Published

    1st Children's Book Published
    In 1955, the first children’s book was published, followed by many sequels and coloring books. Soon thousands of dolls, toys, and other collectibles were on the market.
  • 1st Television Series

    Rankin/Bass produced an animated television special for ABC, named The Ballad of Smokey the Bear, narrated by James Cagney.
  • Smokey Bear's Death

    Smokey Bear's Death
    Smokey died after living for 26 years in the National Zoo.
  • Obituary

    The Wall Street Journal included an obituary for Smokey Bear on the front page of the paper, on Nov 11, 1976
  • Smokey Bear's 50th Anniversary

    Smokey Bear's 50th Anniversary
    Smokey Bear was honored with a U.S. postage stamp that pictured a cub hanging onto a burned tree
  • Slogan Amended

    Slogan Amended
    Modification of the slogan was made to “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.” The change came in response to a number of fires that had occured outside of the forest. In addition, the term ‘wildfire” applies to any unwanted, unplanned, uncontrolled outdoor fire as Smokey Bear now promotes fires for forest ecology through controlled burning.
  • Smokey Bear's Revamped Website

    Smokey Bear's Revamped Website
    "The campaign had essentially remained unchanged for almost 60 years, which is remarkable" said Brad B. McCormick, the project's Senior Producer in Ruder Finn's Interactive Group (RFI). "But once the Ad Council decided to revamp both the tone and audience of Smokey's message, we realized what a major changed that was, and that we needed to create a web presence for Smokey that would justify and support that change for years to come."
  • Smokey Bear 60th Anniversary

    Called upon the President to issue a proclamation "calling upon the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
  • "Get Your Smokey On"

    "Get Your Smokey On"
    “Smokey has always been a vehicle for education and information on how to prevent wildfires, but we wanted to shift beyond education to advocacy,” added Scott Murray, creative director of Draftfcb. “This is really Smokey asking people to step in his shoes and become an advocate in his absence, which is how we got into the idea of people getting their Smokey on.”
  • Revamped Smokey Bear

    Revamped Smokey Bear
    New commercials featuring Smokey Bear rendered in CGI were released.