Timberland Offers 3D View of Earthkeepers

Timberland is putting its best foot forward in a new global campaign showcasing the Earthkeepers collection of eco-friendly apparel.

The effort, dubbed “Nature Needs Heroes,” includes TV, print and retail ads, as well as social media and a microsite that uses 3D technology to help consumers become better acquainted with Earthkeepers. The site allows users to examine a frozen moment on screen at a 360-degree angle.

Retail ads, too, utilize 3D technology. Starting Thursday, select store windows in the U.S. started featuring oversized graphics, which consumers can bring to life using 3D glasses handed out in stores. Point-of-purchase displays show an x-ray image of the Earthkeepers 2.0 boot, touting the company’s use of recycled materials.

In the past, Timberland focused on traditional elements like TV and print, said Jim Davey, Timberland’s vp of global marketing. “This is the first time we’ve reflected new media realities with additional elements like 3D microsites and interactive windows in our retail stores,” he said.

Furthermore, Timberland aims to drive its eco-friendly message home through TV and print ads, which focus on a “lost bottle.” The humorous ads depict a man chasing a runaway water bottle so that he can recycle it. TV spots will air in the U.S., Europe and Asia during live sports, primetime and late night programs. And those consumers who want to create their own heroic moments can do so using Timberland’s Earthkeepers Facebook app, called “Virtual Forest,” which debuts later this month.

“We’re finding that consumers are being drawn to the styling and performance of the new Earthkeepers collection, but it’s also the most environmentally-innovative collection of products we’ve ever launched,” said Davey. “Great products that happen to be more sustainable makes for a great story.” (Timberland has had a good year so far, with sales growing in the high teens, said Matt Powell, an analyst at SportsOneSource.)

Leagas Delaney is the agency behind the print and TV ads; Holst created the 3D window displays and microsite.

This is not the first time that Timberland has boasted its green initiatives. Last October, the footwear and apparel brand tapped singer Wyclef Jean as its “Earthkeeper hero.” The two partnered on a U.S. campaign to promote environmental and humanitarian efforts in Haiti.

Several months later, the company began running a series of outdoor, environment-themed events in 10 U.S. cities as part of its 2009 sponsorship of the Green Apple Festival, an annual music and Earth Day awareness event. The brand launched a contest in conjunction with the event to promote the Earthkeepers line.

Timberland spent $6 million on general measured media in 2009, and $10,000 through June of this year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co. The company spent $4.6 million advertising Earthkeepers in 2008, $3.2 million in 2009, and $15,000 through June of this year.