Smokey The Bear: 70 Years Of Creeping Kids Out [VIDEOS]

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Smokey The Bear

Smokey the Bear is one of those iconic characters that simultaneously harkens back to a simpler time in America, and is a constant reminder of how an effective ad campaign can achieve instant immortality. With his simple phrase, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires,” his park ranger hat, and his Uncle Sam-esque staredown, this brown bear has done more for forest preservation than any other single entity in history.

While it’s hard to separate him from his signature hat that’s now been co-opted by Pharrell, Smokey–with a voice that resonates with the dulcet tones that made Sam Elliott an inspired choice to narrate the saga of The Dude--has an ad history that can sometimes be the stuff of nightmares. In fact, Smokey’s really celebrating 70 years of being  simultaneously lovable and unnerving.

Check out Smokey’s greatest vintage hits below–along with a recent ad featuring the voice of Sam Elliott. It just might inspire you to think twice before starting a fire in the woods, damn it…

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