INTO THE WOODS

Smokey Gets a Makeover

He's cute, he's furry, but can the 65-year-old Smokey Bear stay relevant? Smokey Bear—not Smokey the Bear—was created in 1944 to protect the nation's wood, a valuable war material. His original message, "Only you can prevent forest fires," has since been tweaked to "Only you can prevent wildfires," to encompass fires outside of the woods. But as wildfires have ravaged California, how can Smokey, who represents a $1 million-a-year industry, evolve with the times? A new campaign shows Smokey morphing into a human body to admonish a smoker who puts a cigarette out in the brush. Said the ad's creator: "We don't want people to think of him as a 65-year-old bear. We want him to be seen as a very cool bear."