Smokey’s New Look

January 31, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

smokybearHave you seen Smokey the Bear lately? He had a CGI makeover. The US Forest Service has a new ad campaign to educate people about preventing forest fires (sorry, the call them “wild fires” now), and instead of bringing out the traditional, fatherly, cuddly Smokey, they made a whole new cyber Smokey, with a sexy new look, deeper voice, a snazzy website (SmokeyBear.com), and even a tag line: “Get Your Smokey On.” A far cry from the quaint, hand-painted PSA ranger bear that we know and love.

The whole thing makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but I guess it’s all well-intentioned. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of wild fires, the large majority of which are caused by humans, and it’s definitely a worthwhile cause, considering much of southern California has been on fire for years now and several other regions of the US have experienced record droughts within the past decade. Smokey’s website offers all sorts of info on preventing fires, plus it has a nifty feature on its home page that tracks how many acres of land have burned so far in the US this year (about a half million last time I checked), and a map that shows everywhere there’s a wildfire burning today. Kind of scary, but really quite cool.

The best part of the campaign, of course, are the TV ads featuring our new and improved sexy CGI Smokey. You can see them on the home page of SmokeyBear.com. And just in case you miss the old Smokey, there’s a section on his new website called Smokey’s Vault that offers lots of history and classic images from the 60-year Smokey the Bear campaign.

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Entry filed under: entertainment, rant time, wildland and wildlife. Tags: , , , , , .

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