Who Was The Crying Indian Commercial

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In the early 1970s, a powerful anti-pollution commercial titled “The Crying Indian” aired on television screens across the United States. The commercial featured a Native American man shedding a tear as he looked upon a landscape littered with trash and pollution. This iconic ad was created to raise awareness about the environmental impact of littering and pollution, and it left a lasting impact on viewers across the country. But who was the man behind the tearful portrayal of the “Crying Indian” and what was the story behind this influential commercial?

Here are 8 interesting facts about the “Crying Indian” commercial:

1. The man behind the tearful portrayal of the “Crying Indian” was actor Iron Eyes Cody. Iron Eyes Cody was actually born Espera Oscar de Corti to Italian immigrant parents in 1904. He adopted the persona of a Native American and became a well-known actor in Western films and television shows.

2. Iron Eyes Cody was chosen to star in the commercial because of his strong connection to Native American culture and his dedication to environmental causes. He was a prominent advocate for Native American rights and environmental conservation throughout his life.

3. The “Crying Indian” commercial was created by the advertising agency Marsteller, Inc. for the non-profit organization Keep America Beautiful. The ad first aired on Earth Day in 1971 and quickly became a powerful symbol of the environmental movement.

4. The commercial opens with a Native American man paddling a canoe through a polluted waterway. As he approaches the shore, he witnesses the devastating effects of pollution on the landscape, including littered highways and smog-filled skies.

5. The tear that rolls down Iron Eyes Cody’s cheek was actually a special effect created by the use of glycerin. Despite this, his emotional portrayal of the character resonated with viewers and helped to convey the message of the ad.

6. The tagline of the commercial was “People start pollution. People can stop it.” This powerful message urged viewers to take responsibility for their actions and make a positive impact on the environment.

7. The “Crying Indian” commercial was a huge success and is often credited with helping to launch the modern environmental movement in the United States. It sparked a national conversation about pollution and littering, leading to increased awareness and action on environmental issues.

8. Iron Eyes Cody continued to be an advocate for environmental causes throughout his life. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for his contributions to raising awareness about environmental conservation and Native American rights.

Now, let’s answer some common questions about the “Crying Indian” commercial:

1. Who wrote the script for the “Crying Indian” commercial?

The script for the commercial was written by ad agency Marsteller, Inc. for Keep America Beautiful.

2. When did the “Crying Indian” commercial first air?

The commercial first aired on Earth Day in 1971.

3. What was the tagline of the commercial?

The tagline of the commercial was “People start pollution. People can stop it.”

4. How was the tear effect created in the commercial?

The tear effect was created using glycerin.

5. What impact did the “Crying Indian” commercial have on viewers?

The commercial sparked a national conversation about pollution and littering, leading to increased awareness and action on environmental issues.

6. What award did Iron Eyes Cody receive for his advocacy work?

Iron Eyes Cody was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for his contributions to raising awareness about environmental conservation and Native American rights.

7. What organization sponsored the “Crying Indian” commercial?

The commercial was sponsored by the non-profit organization Keep America Beautiful.

8. What was the inspiration behind the creation of the “Crying Indian” character?

The character was inspired by the devastating effects of pollution on the environment and the need for individuals to take action to protect the planet.

9. How did Iron Eyes Cody’s portrayal of the “Crying Indian” impact his career?

The commercial brought Iron Eyes Cody widespread recognition and solidified his reputation as a passionate advocate for environmental causes.

10. How did the “Crying Indian” commercial contribute to the modern environmental movement?

The commercial played a key role in raising awareness about environmental issues and encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their actions.

11. What was Iron Eyes Cody’s background before starring in the “Crying Indian” commercial?

Iron Eyes Cody was a well-known actor in Western films and television shows before starring in the commercial.

12. What message did the “Crying Indian” commercial seek to convey to viewers?

The commercial urged viewers to take responsibility for their actions and make a positive impact on the environment.

13. How did Iron Eyes Cody’s personal beliefs align with the message of the “Crying Indian” commercial?

Iron Eyes Cody was a dedicated advocate for environmental conservation and Native American rights, making him a perfect fit for the role.

14. What was the significance of the “Crying Indian” commercial in the history of advertising?

The commercial is often cited as one of the most effective and influential ads in the history of advertising, due to its powerful message and emotional impact.

15. What legacy did the “Crying Indian” commercial leave behind?

The commercial left a lasting impact on viewers and helped to launch the modern environmental movement in the United States, solidifying its place in advertising history.

In conclusion, the “Crying Indian” commercial was a powerful and influential ad that helped to raise awareness about the environmental impact of pollution and littering. Iron Eyes Cody’s emotional portrayal of the character resonated with viewers across the country and sparked a national conversation about the need for individuals to take action to protect the planet. The commercial’s enduring message of personal responsibility and environmental stewardship continues to inspire audiences to this day.
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