Timber – A Dating Service for Tree Lovers
The idea of appropriating current online dating behaviour, with Valentine’s Day as the focal point, became immensely successful: Timber created a global buzz in only a matter of days reaching 17 099 375 people both inside and outside the industry and was awarded “Creative Pick of the Day”.
Husqvarna is a global leading producer of outdoor power products for forest, park and garden care. The educational campaign page Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy is an online resource for safe and efficient tree felling, as well as highlighting responsible forestry.
The brief was to create engagement through a social media campaign, and to reach outside of the ordinary (very niched B2B) target group, while driving traffic to Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy.
Since the media budget was $0, we decided to appropriate an existing internet phenomena, in this case online dating. To further boost the potential engagement we decided to utilize the cultural significance of Valentine’s Day to release the campaign, and thereby celebrate the love for the forest that is shared by both the client and the users of their products.
The creative idea
On the morning of Valentine’s Day, followers of Husqvarna’s social media accounts were surprised by the news that the leading chainsaw manufacturer had gotten into the world of online dating. Husqvarna’s different Social Media accounts linked to Timber, a responsive web app mimicking the functionality of Tinder, but filled with pining (get it?) trees looking for love.
Timber is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of modern dating services: instead of swiping between singles looking for love, the user is presented with different trees that each have their own profile. Once matched with a tree, it becomes apparent they don’t speak any human languages. Instead, trees such as the California Redwood (bragging about it’s size), and Magnolia (describing itself as a late bloomer) only respond with leaf emojis.
After chatting with a matched tree, the users is presented with a call to action to visit Chainsaw Academy.
Social behavior is changing, and Tinder has become a big part of Valentines Day for singles. Our customers love the great outdoors, but the job often feels solitary. At the same time, the forestry industry is undergoing a large-scale generational shift.
A lumberjack’s phone becomes their main connection to others during the workday, and social media becomes the natural platform for connecting to other professionals. Therefore, a mobile first, strategic effort initiated through social media was the obvious way to go forward.
Timber connected with current online dating behavior in look and feel, all the way down to the swiping functionality to mimic existing platforms precisely. To keep the attention of the visitor, we focused on creating a humorous tone in each profile’s biography, giving all trees cheesy pick-up-lines.As trees do not speak, they responded once matched through nature emojis, before the visitor was exposed to the CTA.
To minimize and streamline the digital user journey from reading about Timber to interacting with it, we decided to design Timber as a web app, to ensure that the audience would only be one click away from starting the interaction. This was based on the insight that if it was to be an iOS app, we would lose some potential visitors on the way due to not wanting to put in the energy of downloading an app.
On Valentine’s Day the web app was distributed through Husqvarna’s social channels, and was quickly picked up by multiple news outlets in and outside the industry around the world.
During the days after the launch, flabbergasted Timber users around the world posted screenshots of their favorite profiles and the interactions with the trees.
The idea of appropriating current online dating behavior, with Valentine’s Day as the focal point, became immensely successful: Timber created a global buzz in only a matter of days.
The campaign reached 17 099 375 people both inside and outside the industry. It soon topped international creativity toplists, being awarded “Creative Pick of the Day” and later rose on the charts on BestAds, amongst others.
Timber was an international success, creating awareness that reached well outside of Husqvarna’s ordinary target group, as was the objective. Apart from the successful reach, engagement, and press, the online traffic to Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy website more than doubled.