September 9, 2010, 2:59 PM

Timberland goes high-tech to market nature-focused products

The retailer uses 3-D technology to promote environmentally friendly goods.

Lead Photo

The Nature Needs Heroes microsite features 3-D technology

Timberland has kicked off a marketing campaign that uses high-end technology, including 3-D displays, to promote items the retailer says are good for the earth.

The outdoor apparel  and footwear manufacturer and retailer, No.436 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is promoting its Earthkeepers collection—an assortment of products made with reused materials such as recycled rubber and plastic bottles. Timberland's campaign employs a variety of channels, including TV and print advertising, 3-D displays in select Timberland retail stores worldwide, social media and an interactive microsite.

"We hope the variety of elements in this campaign—from digital and social to in-store to more traditional media–might encourage all consumers, no matter where they see us, to be drawn in," says Jim Davey, Timberland's vice president of global marketing. "We want to give consumers the opportunity to learn more about what Timberland is doing to help protect the outdoors, as well as support them in taking environmental action themselves, whether that action is buying a pair of boots or planting a tree."

The campaign includes a Nature Needs Heroes microsite which uses 360-degree imagery and high-definition 3-D technology to show visitors how small acts, such as recycling a water bottle, can make a difference.  The retailer also enables shoppers to zoom in on each article of clothing that the character in the short online video is wearing, with options to zoom further into details such as the lining and pockets of a jacket. Rollovers provide environmental details­—a pair of jeans goes through an ecological wash process, for instance, or a boot’s laces are constructed using recycled water bottles. Visitors can use a tool to horizontally scroll across their screen to turn the model and see a 360-degree view of him and all the products he is wearing.

Timberland’s retail store windows also will depict the Nature Needs Heroes microsite sequences via 3-D graphics, viewable through free 3-D glasses made from recycled materials that Timberland will hand out to shoppers. Point-of-sale stations in stores will show an x-ray into Timberland’s Earthkeepers 2.0 boot, which is made from recycled materials.

Additionally, Timberland plans to launch a Virtual Forest Facebook app that enables users to create or join a friend’s forest to support Timberland’s program to plant trees in Haiti.

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