Will Timberland’s stories lure customers into the metaverse?
Timberland announced its first venture into the metaverse virtual world as it released a gamified digital experience called TimbsTrails. The online experience celebrates the stories, art, music and people that created the culture around the Original Yellow Boot.
Players collect boot badges as they roam through five maze-like virtual chapters:
- New England Origins: Tour Timberland’s original 1973 factory. Learn about the founding Swartz family, boot construction and waterproofing technologies, and explore the New Hampshire countryside that served as inspiration.
- Tokyo/London/Italy: Explore Timberland’s key international moments, including meeting an Italian “Paninaro” from the 1980s, attending a rave party on the London Underground from the 1990s and chatting with a girl from Japan’s Harajuku fashion district from the 1990s.
- Hip Hop Heritage: Travel to New York City in the 1990s to hear from rapper Fat Joe about hip-hop culture, and then take in Los Angeles’ bling fashion in the 2000s.
- Green Dream: Experience a lush green world through stories of responsible sourcing, tree planting and sustainable design.
- Collab City: Explore Timberland’s collaborations with Bee Line, The North Face and Spongebob.
Players completing all five chapters are eligible to win prizes, including gift cards and Timberland’s new GreenStride boot. The experience will eventually be brought to stores.
In making an entry into the metaverse in recent months, consumer brands have largely focused on introducing NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to sell virtual goods or offer exclusive access. Promised gamification possibilities, such as avatars that can feel, taste or smell product, have not yet arrived.
Some recent virtual gamification efforts include:
- Nikeland on Roblox that lets players make friends, play games such as dodgeball and soccer, and customize their avatars at a virtual showroom.
- Ralph Lauren Winter Escape on Roblox, where players can ice skate with friends, drink hot chocolate and toast marshmallows around a firepit, go on a holiday treasure hunt to unlock exclusive accessories, and try on and purchase clothing to customize their avatars at “Polo Shops.”
- Samsung 837X, a virtual version of its 837 Manhattan flagship store on Decentraland, includes “mystical quests leading to exclusive NFTs and a live mixed reality dance party, while showcasing Samsung’s brand and the experiences our products unlock.”
- TIMBSTRAILS – Timberland
- Timberland Partners with R/GA to Launch Immersive Experience TimbsTrails – Little Black Book
- Timberland launches digital adventure exploring its history – PRweek
- Nike Creates NIKELAND on Roblox – Nike
- Ralph Lauren Creates Expansive Holiday-Themed Experience On Roblox – Ralph Lauren
- Samsung Debuts New Fan Experience in the Metaverse with Samsung 837X – Samsung
- Will fans visit Nike in the metaverse? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Timberland’s TimbsTrails experience? Do you see virtual gamification taking another leap forward in the years ahead as a marketing tool or are we already seeing its limitations?