Timberland steps out with experiential game exploring its history

Linda J. Dodson

Table of Contents

Dive Brief:

  • VF Corp’s Timberland brand and R/GA Australia have launched TimbsTrails, an immersive digital experience that invites fans on a journey through the brand’s history via a blend of stories, art, music and people, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • Players collect badges as they travel through five chapters to unlock a final chapter and step into the future. They explore over 15 themed environments, including the original Timberland factory in New England, London’s rave scene and an Italian piazza. Players who complete the journey are eligible for a chance to win Timberland’s newest GreenStride boots and other prizes.
  • R/GA created the design system, user interface and maze-like architecture of the TimbTrails experience using the angular forms of Timberland’s logo to help connect the brand’s heritage with its positioning around sustainability and innovation for a new generation of consumers.The experience will also be found in Timberland’s stores around the world.

Dive Insight:

Athletic brands, including VF Corp’s Timberland, Vans and The North Face, have been moving toward a direct-to-consumer model. This switch involves not only revamping internal organization for the DTC business model but also putting a bigger emphasis on digital marketing that can engage potential and existing customers when they are online.

Digital experiential marketing efforts like this one from Timberland is one way DTC marketers can meet consumers where they are spending time. In recent months, many brands have attempted to accomplish innovate around experiential marketing through metaverse plays focused virtual games, products or NFTs. However, a lot of consumers are still not familiar with the metaverse.

Timberland’s effort was built with Plai to create a standalone experience for the web and the brand’s stores. What makes Timberland’s effort interesting is how it blends brand history — including by highlighting its original yellow boots — with gamification and the metaverse to build awareness with a new generation of consumers and introduce them to its current styles.

“Our brand fans have been a driving force in making Timberland the icon it is today, and we’re incredibly excited about the experiential journey we’ve created for them,” said Drieke Leenknegt, vice president, global marketing, in a release. “We’re always looking for new ways to engage our consumers, and TimbsTrails does that across the spectrum — from a gamified digital experience right into our retail stores.”

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