Smokey Bear, the longtime spokes-bear for preventing forest fires, is getting a makeover in time for his 70th birthday, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town.
“Handlers of the iconic animal have decided he needed a younger and fresher look. They want him to fit in with the millennial generation of teenagers and young adults,” the story reports.
The bear now has a Facebook page, and Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as a new campaign that features Smokey being horrified when his friends present him with a birthday cake covered with burning candles.
“That would be Smokey's worst nightmare," Eric Springer, chief creative officer of FCB West in Venice, told the publication.
About 6.7 million acres of forest are burned annually in forest fires, which is far less than when Smokey’s campaign started in the 1940s.
"It's an incredible story," Peggy Conlon, chief executive of the Ad Council, said. The Ad Council oversees the campaign. "FCB has been nurturing this icon for 70 years, and Smokey Bear continues to be relevant to people's lives."
Here's one of the new spots: