The Crying Indian is an advertising campaign of Keep America Beautiful Inc. This organization was founded back in 1953 and since that time it has put all possible efforts towards promoting and installing the community beautification, environment improvement, pollution and littering prevention. Keep America Beautiful has over five hundred and sixty affiliates in different states, cities and towns of America.
Over the last years this nonprofit organization has been able to improve the environment of over fifteen thousands of American local communities. Moreover, it leads not only beautification and clean up activities, but also puts efforts towards educating people and helping them to realize the need of keeping their communities as well as the surrounding environment clean and unpolluted. The goal of Keep America Beautiful Inc. is to teach and inspire people to keep their neighborhoods clean and beautiful to look at, beautiful to live in, to work in and to visit.
The first significant advertising campaign, conducted by the joint effort of Keep America Beautiful and Ad Council, was "Suzy Spotless". It was created and launched in 1961. The main slogan and idea of that advertising campaign was that if people start the pollution, they can stop it. The Crying Indian advertising campaign was created for Keep American Beautiful by the Young & Rubicam's Marstellar Inc. agency in the year of 1971. It was launched by Keep America Beautiful on the Earth Day of the same year. The main character of this advertising campaign was an American actor Chief Iron Eyes Cody. Its main slogan was: "People Start Pollution. People can stop it.
" The Crying Indian commercial shows the Chief wondering through the land in a search of wonders of the Nature, but the only things he finds everywhere are trash and pollution. Then the camera zooms in and people can see how a single tear running down from the Chief's eye. This powerful advertising message has greatly influenced the generation it was addressed to. The Crying Indian commercial is named among one of the top and most brilliant one hundred advertising campaigns of the 20th Century. In fact, the Crying Indian has won two Clio awards and Chief Iron Eyes Cody, who starred in that commercial, was honored with a star, bearing his name on the Famous Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
After The Crying Indian advertising campaign was out, Keep America Beautiful started to receive over two thousand letters monthly from those people, who wanted to join this organization and become its local volunteers. By the end of The Crying Indian advertising campaign, Keep American Beautiful had been able to reduce litter by as much as eighty eight percent in some three hundred communities, thirty eight states, and even in several countries. With the time, this organization has established a special Iron Eyes Cody Award, which honors and awards outstanding male volunteers for their exceptional leadership in raising the public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues and other environmental and community beautification activities.