Timberland has entered the metaverse. The brand launched a multidisciplinary activation last week that included an interactive Fortnite creative experience, Timberland Parkour Trails, among other projects, that explores the use of virtual and augmented reality technology in the footwear space.
Activision Timberland is the result of a partnership between Fortnite developer Epic Games and CONCEPTKICKS, a footwear website founded by designer and influencer Daniel Bailey. Details of the financial agreement were not available. This isn’t Timberland’s first foray into the virtual space for marketing purposes — that honor goes to TimbStreels, an interactive experience the company launched in January — but it’s going further in the metaverse, validating its game-driven vision. Represents the brand’s decision to grow. For the concept supported by Epic in the process. To further underline the connection between the gaming community and Timberland’s Metaverse strategy, the brand brought on popular Twitch streamer Ali “CypherPK” Hassan to promote the experience for its fans.
Digiday contacted Timberland’s CMO Drike Leinnegat to find out more about why Timberland chose Fortnite as their Metaverse platform of choice — and whether the brand plans to get into NFT games in the near future. Is.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Why did Timberland partner with Epic Games for this activation, rather than other Metaverse platforms such as Roblox or Decentraland?
We have seen this acceleration of digital product creation, in particular by COVID and within Timberland in particular. It is quintessential for what we do today, not only because it has enabled us to drive product and footwear innovation, but it is also driving our sustainability agenda as we look at the benefits of digital product creation .
The way we look at partnership at Timberland is, if you partner, you collaborate because together, you can do something you can’t do on your own. Looking around us, Epic was an ideal partner, because Epic is much more than what you see from a consumer standpoint — Epic is a service provider with Unreal Engine. They are service providers that allow brands to harness digitization from concept to consumer. You want to bring people together for cross-pollination, to push yourself and innovate.
So does Timberland believe the Unreal Engine could become the building blocks of the Metaverse?
Yes. My counterparts aren’t here, but I think I can speak for all of us, especially the heads of design. The possibilities Unreal Engine gives us to help develop and digitize the end-to-market process from start to finish are amazing, and it’s one of the reasons we love partnering with them.
Epic’s vision for the Metaverse differs from some others because there is no Web3 aspect to its platform – its vision for the Metaverse does not require a blockchain infrastructure. Why did you pursue gaming-inspired Metaverse activation instead of including NFTs?
We are a consumer-led brand; This means we need to stay in the mindset and life of the consumer. And gaming has really become a part of his life, right? The way we see it: Be where your consumer is, serve your consumer where they are, respond to their needs and partner with them where they are. At this point of time, NFTs have not come on the agenda, as we have not seen the opportunities or requirements for it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. What will determine the partnership we have with the consumer and what they need and what they are looking for – but also, as a brand, what do we need? Where can we learn?
Why did Timberland choose gaming influencer SypherPK to fuel this brand activation?
Across all platforms where our consumers are, we want to partner with the right people, whether it’s in the gaming space, or music, or entertainment, or the arts. The way we look at our partnerships with people like SypherPK ensures that there is a synergy. And the partnership has been great; It was an honor for us to work with him.
That’s why this project is so unique as a collaboration. You bring together these game-changing individuals, from industrial designers, Daniel Bailey, the folks at Metavision, Unreal Engine. You bring them all together to really explore and create new places and push yourself. “One Plus One Bara Three” is something we at Timberland take very seriously when we look at not only design innovation but storytelling as well.