Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get your smokey on

Smokey Bear has come a long way in my short life, from this: to this:

(Yes that is a Smokey mask and you can go to SmokeyBear.com to get your own personal one)

Apparently the new slogan is "Get your smokey on." It hurts me a little inside to type that. I grew up with Smokey Bear as my parents have both worked for the Forest Service, my dad probably 30 years now. Yes, I did think he was Smokey the Bear until my mom corrected me about a month ago, but still, Smokey was a big part of my childhood with or without a "the." I probably knew who Smokey was before I knew who Winnie the Poo was. I saw Smokey at every parade and fair, I had his posters plastered on every wall of my room, I possessed every Smokey freebie trinket available (including jar openers which were incredibly handy) and I even went up in a Smokey air balloon. Yeah, we were that close.

So when I see a poster with Smokey encouraging me to "get my Smokey on," I don't know quite how to feel. I mean, Smokey is iconic. Do they really need to make a new, "hip" slogan? Isn't Smokey cool enough already? And really, what does it mean to "get your Smokey on" anyway? Smokey's job is an honorable one and I think this new slogan is cheesy and cheapens his image. Do they really have to compromise this to attract the younger generations, which could seriously backfire on the ad team? When you try too hard to be cool, people are smart enough to catch on. You have to let Smokey be cool without screaming that he is.

Friends, don't judge Smokey for his sloppy marketing team. This too shall pass and Smokey will continue to protect our national forests, whether he's getting his Smokey on or not.

A stamp from 1948. It doesn't get any better than this.


  1. I agree! Get your smokey on sounds like a cigarette ad.

  2. Thought provoking Ems. Luv you to pieces. *hug