Transforming a Brand From Country Bumpkin to Urban Fashionista

Timberland Recruits Graffiti Artist, Public for Art Project

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Brand: Timberland
Brand owner: Timberland
Category: Clothing/Footwear
Date: September-November 2004
Country: Italy
Media Agency: Vizeum

Sometimes a campaign epitomizes a trend so well it has to be included in Cream's directory of media ideas. This year has brought a plethora of examples of artists being used in advertising campaigns. Time and Converse have used the technique and even book promotions are now resorting to a man with an easel or a spray can to help build awareness of the product. Doubtless this is one of those fads that comes in and out of fashion, but this Italian example is a naturally elegant example of the genre.
New York grafitti artist Daze created for Timberland a canvas that was displayed at the Parco Sempione, a green space in Milan.
New York grafitti artist Daze created for Timberland a canvas that was displayed at the Parco Sempione, a green space in Milan.

Timberland's challenge was to change consumer perceptions. In Italy, the boot was thought of a country thing, not cool urban footwear. In order to change this, it recruited and booted New Yorker "Daze," the father of international graffiti, and six Italian writers. The seven were briefed to make Timberland a "walking experience" and were sent to explore Milan on foot.

Daze then created a canvas, which was displayed at the Parco Sempione, a green space in the city. And to get the public involved, consumers were also invited to enter a work of art or photograph on the "Walking Experience" theme.

The best entries from the public were displayed at wholly owned Timberland stores across Italy and one consumer won a trip to New York.

The activity received coverage on MTV and All Music as well as in leading Italian style titles. It successfully altered perceptions of the brand, particularly among style leaders and Timberland's wholly owned stores ran out of boots.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database. csquared.cc
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