Fire educators and professionals all know and love Sparky the Fire Dog, and now he’s being recognized as one of the country’s top-notch mascots on Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame in New York City on October 4. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is encouraging fans to vote for Sparky as their favorite icon in a contest Advertising Week is running to generate buzz before the big day.
The winners will be hoisted as permanent banners on the ad industry’s version of Hollywood & Vine: New York’s Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame, and above all else will have the ultimate seal of approval from consumers.
“With it being Sparky’s 60th anniversary, we are thrilled that he is getting this kind of recognition and was chosen to be part of the parade,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications.
“We hope that all the public educators, families, firefighters and friends of Sparky will cast their votes so that he can have the extra special honor of being the top icon for 2011.”
Sparky was created in 1951 as part of an Advertising Council campaign for the National Fire Protection Association and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since .
In 1953, Sparky’s fire prevention campaign reached more than 68 million people through radio public service announcements and another three million through television. As an influential figure in fire prevention, his success can be attributed to collaboration with firefighters and others to educate the public on important prevention and safety messages.
Sparky frequently visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends.
In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements and his featured role in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October, he has a very active website and a Facebook page that was launched in 2011 as part of his 60th anniversary celebration.