I have always loved shopping at American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) because I not only like the clothes but also their advertising campaign. AEO uses real people from all over America as models in their ad campaigns and most recently they have launched their “Project Live Your Life” project. Contestants create a profile and for five weeks they try and upload all the content, videos, pictures or songs, in order to attract attention to themselves. The more uploads gives AEO a better insight to who each contestant is. Who ever wins this contest gets both a $2500 and inclusion in AEO’s upcoming campaign.
For as long as I can remember AEO has done this and I have never really noticed how brilliant it is till now. AEO allows their winning contestants to tell their stories and share what passions they have and what inspires them. As demonstrated in the video above, AEO does not try and hide unique talents and interests that individuals have, they try and showcase them because it adds dimension to their brand. By hosting this competition AEO is not only attracting real people and not just models, but also people who presumably support their brand and what it stands for. The reward for this is not a super model contract that is considered high fashion, therefore the people who enter into the contest are likely people who believe in what AEO is doing, they have an element of authenticity that an average model lacks. People like more than just a face wearing their clothes, consumers like relatable people because it makes the brand more believable. When I, a consumer, see’s a model and their bio, it makes them more believable. I want to trust AEO because I see them being a wholesome brand when I can trust the people wearing the clothes.
On top of creating trust with their consumers, “Project Live Your Life” is also bringing traffic to their website, Facebook page and Instagram because people are curious at what this is. There are comments on their website from excited and enthusiastic contestants who want to join the contest. It is good source of public relations for the company because it directly connects corporate to consumers. Contestants are given the opportunity to go behind the scenes of AEO headquarters and see the process of having the clothes drawn on paper to them arriving in stores. If brands could do what AEO is doing, I think that they could be very successful in the future because AEO has truly taken on Integrated Marketing Approach that has proven beneficial.
American Eagle Outfitters (2014, February 6). Project Live Your Life: San Francisco [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb4zLbZxVRk