Timberland Really Wants You to Stop Lying About Seeing This Weird Motorcycle Guy at Work

Start taking responsibility already

Timberland wants to give liars the boot—a comfy boot, that is, and shoes too, with anti-fatigue technology, so folks won't have to invent ridiculous excuses when their tired, aching feet make them goof up in the workplace.

Come on, some mustachioed motorcycle dude named Fernando—rocking a shiny, skin-tight purple jumpsuit and his own trumpety-hot theme song, no less—didn't really cause a boo-boo at the warehouse, now did he?

Yeehaw! Hump that cycle seat!

"We felt there was more room for unexpected comedy around the excuses people make rather than just trying to make funny films about making mistakes," Trent Patterson, creative director at The Martin Agency, which made the campaign, tells AdFreak.

"This route allows us to highlight a lot of different types of workplaces and workers, and then have those workers tell almost any story," he says. "So, the campaign can go in a ton of directions."

Such as dispatching Ray-Banned bros in black to the scene when some strange, perhaps extraterrestrial whatsit has fallen from the sky—plop!—right into freshly laid concrete:

You know, Mulder and Scully would look dope in Timberlands. (Well, in anything, really.)

"We liked the idea of the spots feeling very different from each other," says Patterson, "so 'Crash' gave us a chance to make an action sequence to juxtapose against the swooning in 'Fernando.' "

Amusing stuff, and certainly on brand—but perhaps a stretch, like leather pinching at the heel when you jam your beefy hoof into Timberlands two sizes too small. And if the gags get overly complex, could people miss the point? After all, the whole "unreliable narrator" hook is a tad tricky.

"We wrote some stories that were more elaborate, with more twists and turns that seemed funny, but would probably have been a lot harder to follow," Patterson says. "Ultimately, we settled on stories that, while outlandish, were pretty straightforward."

That's also why each ad closes "with a very clear payoff line—'Stop the excuses'—labeling what came before as a fib," he says.

Bottom line: Wear Timberlands … and be a better worker-drone for the Man!


Client: Timberland

Director of Marketing: Cassie Heppner

Senior Marketing Manager: Rebecca Conway

Associate Marketing Manager: Ryan Murphy

Agency: The Martin Agency

Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander

Creative Director: Trent Patterson

Associate Creative Director: Alexander Zamiar  

Associate Creative Director: Jonathan Richman

Executive Broadcast Producer: Christina Cairo

Executive Broadcast Producer: John McAdorey

Associate Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney

Senior Production Business Manager: Kelly Clow

Business Affairs Coordinator: Kim Leonard

Planning Director: Kristin Axelson

Account Director: Michael Henry

Project Manager: Karen McEwen

Production Company: Tool

Director: Benji Weinstein

Managing Partner, Live Action: Oliver Fuselier

Executive Producer, Live Action:Lori Stonebraker

Production Service Company: Steam Films

Managing Partner/EP: Krista Marshall

Managing Partner/Head of Sales: Jennifer Sykes

Line Producer: Rob Jacklin

Production Company (Product): Spang TV

Executive Producer: Melanie Cox

Producer: Christina Garnett

Producer: Erin Surber

Director/Director of Photography: Jamie Prescott

Editorial: Beast

Editor: John Dingfield

Color: Company 3

Colorist: Tyler Roth

Online: Method Studios

Online Artist: Mark Anderson

Design: Method Design

Head of Production: Lauren Roth

Original Music for Fernando: Overcoast

Composers:  Colin Beckett, Travis Tucker, Aaron Esposito

Producers: Travis Tucker, Colin Beckett

Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios

Sound Designer & Mix Engineer: Mike O'Connor

Executive Producer, Owner: Kristin O'Connor

General Manager/Scheduler: Clinton Spell II

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: September 20, 2016 https://stage.adweek.com/creativity/timberland-really-wants-you-stop-lying-about-seeing-weird-motorcycle-guy-work-173608/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT