HOLLYWOOD/NEW YORK – Foot Locker and Timberland recently teamed up with hip-hop legend Nas to launch the 2017 Timberland Legends Collection limited-release series of boots. The campaign's colorful animated ads – which document pivotal moments in the iconic rapper's personal journey – have promised exclusive new drops to come. The campaign collaborators at creative agency Pereira & O'Dell and creative production company Gentleman Scholar (http://gentlemanscholar.com) have delivered the newest installment, entitled Dictionary.
Also known as "The Legend Continues with Nas, Vol. VIII," the latest tale presents animated Nas recounting his drive to change the whole vocabulary of hip-hop. Flashing back to his teenage years scouring the dictionary cover-to-cover, the moving tapestry of words, colors and beats set in and around NYC's subway renders the artist's spoken recollections as vibrant visual poetry. With each new episode dedicated to a new Legends Collection release, Dictionary signals the arrival of Timberland's Volume VIII 6" Premium Strap Boot in stores. With Squeak E. Clean Productions onboard for original music, the series will unveil two more videos in the weeks to come, and two more sets of limited-release Timberland boots.
Fire is about Nas’s very first rap battle, which he lost to an older girl in his neighborhood.
16 Bars represents Nas’s first time in the studio, where he rapped on another artist's track en route to his big break.
For Gentleman Scholar, the scores of artists and producers working across studios in Los Angeles and New York has been led by creative directors Chace Hartman, William Campbell and Will Johnson, art directors Cristina Barna and Macauley Johnson, executive producer Christina Roldan, and senior producers Sue Yee Hubbard and Kirsten Noll.
"Since the Legends series is as much lifestyle as product, the visual personification of Nas' journey has to involve some intense storytelling and thoughtful problem solving in animation and design," Hartman notes. "It's street and style."
The team's efforts have focused on delivering a gritty, textural narrative with a style that is familiar in the comic aesthetic, while also feeling fresh and new. "The stories are both quiet and explosive, helping to redefine the new look of the Legends Club," Hartman continues.
Referring to graphic novels, classic comic books, and traditional cel animation, the production team approached the project using a combination of 2D, 3D (to help inform camera language), and cel animation. Adding Nas' own voiceover, the stories take new life…and organically showcasing Timberland's boots provides exceptional punctuation. Having photographed the products, the team has been able to meld them into each animated world seamlessly.
The company's work remains in high gear on both U.S. coasts for the campaign, aiming to ultimately deliver all the HD content featured in five ads of various lengths (nearly four minutes in total), and in many other campaign facets.