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Smokey "the" Bear

Only YOU can prevent forest fires

MMDE: Smokey the Bear

Current: Smokey Bear

Was he "Smokey Bear" or "Smokey the bear"?

Our lovable friend seems to have been on TV forever, and now on the internet in the form of ads, but every time you see him now he's just called Smokey Bear. Those experiencing the Mass memory Discrepancy Effect are sure this has changed, and remember him as "Smokey the Bear."

The popular song from 1952 has the word "the" added, but that might just be artistic licence in order to keep the rhythm going.

To anyone under 40 this seems to not be an issue - they remember it as wee see today, "Smokey Bear". There are one or two references still around to "the", however.

Smokey isn't Smoky

Few people realise Smokey has his own law! The name and image is protected by the Smokey Bear Act of 1952 - this was to prevent anyone commercialising his brand, in order to totally focus on the serious message he's intended to convey.

The other aspect of this Mandela Effect concerns the spelling. You'd have thought most people would assume he's spelt "Smoky", but they have no trouble with the real way of "Smokey". This is again intentional, and it's so that manufactured word could be trademarked rather than one already in widespread common use. Reading that trademark actually provides a further clue regarding this ME, because it only refers to "Smokey Bear" and not "Smokey the Bear". If there's anywhere it's essential that the wording is totally correct, this is where you'd find it, but of course those familiar with the Mandela Effect would just point out all the original references have changed, including this one.

The campaign has been a fantastic success. Over 80% of respondents recognise him and immediately associate him with the message to be cautious regarding fires, no matter how his name appears.