Timberland Brings Boot Innovation To The Metaverse With Fortnite Island

Timberland Brings Boot Innovation To The Metaverse With Fortnite Island

Diving brief:

  • Timberland is first bringing its boot design innovation platform to the metaverse through a partnership with game developer Epic Games and creative studio Conceptkicks, according to a press release. Metavision, an agency specializing in the metaverse, helped guide the creative strategy on activation.
  • The outdoor brand’s latest Construct:10061 program centers around an interactive Fortnite experience. A custom in-game island features a virtual iteration of Timberland’s real-world innovation lab, a collection of four “Metaboots” players can try out, and three distinct biomes to explore while wearing the gear.
  • Timberland is launching the concept during Milan Design Week at its Orefici11 flagship store. There, visitors can experience physical prototypes of the boots, watch live gameplay, and participate in the creation of a fifth Metaboot in Fortnite. Timberland joins other apparel marketers in using metaverse conceit to show off experimental product ideas and engage a young audience with a clear preference for games.

Overview of the dive:

Timberland has been running its Construct:10061 program since 2018, but is looking to meet the cultural moment this year by moving the platform into the metaverse. Like many metaverse games, the Fortnite experience is essentially a more involved online game activation, though Timberland uses a range of tech offerings from Epic Games developers.

The custom island gives players a behind-the-curtain look at the bootmaker’s design process through a virtual version of his real-world lab. The larger space has varying climates that reflect the different outdoor environments people might explore while wearing Timberland gear.

Each of the island’s three biomes comes with a Metaboot, complete with arctic, desert, and forest-themed footwear that matches Fortnite’s over-the-top cartoon aesthetic. Biomes can be explored through “parkour trails” that unlock special effects that visitors can take back to the design lab. A fourth Metaboot is inspired by Timberland’s classic yellow boot.

The Metaboots are the result of a collaborative effort between Timberland’s Advanced Concepts & Energy team, Construct:10061, Conceptkicks, and BeyondCreative, a game studio specializing in Fortnite experiences for brands. BeyondCreative has previously worked with Chipotle, Adidas, and Balenciaga, addressing the range of companies pursuing more personalized activations in the hugely popular multiplayer title.

Epic Games not only owns Fortnite, but also the Unreal computer graphics engine and the Sketchfab 3D modeling platform. Timberland has created a high-fidelity version of its Forest Metaboot by leveraging Unreal, which is viewable in augmented reality (AR) via Sketchfab. Other prototype boots are also available for review on Sketcfab using AR. Epic Games earlier this year secured $2 billion in funding to support its bid to build the Metaverse.

The latest Construct:10061 also shows Timberland embracing a hybrid marketing model with the Milan Design Week in-person launch event, which runs through June 12. Ali “SypherPK” Hassan, one of the main Fortnite content creators, is involved in the effort.

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