It’s not the way we’d customize our 2012 Ford F-250—if we had one—but if we were L.L.Bean and wished to promote our iconic Maine hunting boot and celebrate our 100th anniversary, we just might.
The classic L.L.Bean boot is how the company got its start, of course, with its sole and lower boot in rubber with a leather upper, and outside the flagship store in Freeport, Maine, is a 16-foot-tall Bean Boot sculpture next to the store’s entrance.
So to celebrate the company’s 100th year and promote outdoor activity with the National Parks Foundation, L.L. Bean contracted with Echo Artz of Kissimmee, Florida, to make what Chuck Yex and Zachary Wiekart of Echo Artz call not a boot on a truck but rather a boot in a truck.
The result was a remarkably accurate but remarkably oversized boot, but with a windshield and wheels. More than just spraying a general boot-shaped foam over a truck, Echo Artz actually laser-modeled a real boot and in 3-D and did the same with a model truck, then digitally laying one over the top of the other. It wasn’t all computer modeling. Echo Artz also cut up real boots and placed them over model trucks. And then they scaled it up and made it.
That’s greatly oversimplifying it, of course, but the L.L.Bean Bootmobile is authentic down to the chain pattern of its sole and the two-tone boot laces which, by the way are actually two-inch mooring rope for a tug boat. And it’s street legal, right down to the sidemarker lights.
The L.L.Bean Bootmobile made its debut in New York’s Times Square on January 20th and will go on tour around the country during the year. After all, it works for Oscar Meyer and the Wienermobile.
L.L. Bean is promoting not only itself but also outdoor activity: “While taking steps to spend more time outdoors this year, Americans will have an opportunity to help children in underserved communities experience our National Parks as part of L.L.Bean’s Million Moment Mission. L.L.Bean is pledging to donate $1 (up to $1 million) for every “outdoor moment” Americans share online or by attending one of L.L.Bean’s many outdoor events this year. The funding from L.L.Bean will support the National Park Foundation’s “America’s Best Idea” program, connecting diverse, underserved and under-engaged audiences in local communities to national parks.”