On this Earth Day in 1971, the first “Crying Indian” anti-pollution Public Service Announcement was released. This landmark, award winning AdCouncil campaign, developed by the ad agency Martsteller for Keep America Beautiful, included two PSAs (“Horseback” and “Canoe”) which featured Iron Eyes Cody as the “Crying Indian.” Already a veteran of screen acting, in primarily Native American roles despite his Italian ancestry, Cody, and his single tear, became an early symbol of the environmental movement. The ads evoke sadness as they draw attention to the damage that pollution and litter do to the environment. The call to action is provided by the radio drama legend William Conrad. His deep, baritone voice-over reminds us that “people start pollution; people can stop it.” Conrad’s vast career includes over 7,500 radio drama roles, narrations for television and cinema spanning five decades, and producing and directing roles in multiple films.
View these landmark PSAs at the AdCouncil website. What memories of these ads do you have? Do they still inspire you toward environmental causes?
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As an important device in the world of audio engineering and voice-over (VO), the VU Meter serves as the inspiration for monitoring and measuring the voice-over industry over time via the "VO Meter" blog. Subscribe to the “VO Meter” via RSS feeds or receive email updates and be treated to a bit of voice-over history and trivia with each entry.
Blog Author: Kevin Readdean, Voice Talent, KevinsVoice.com
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