- American Eagle is building on its back-to-school marketing campaign with an immersive, two-day pop-up event at High Line Park in New York City, per a press release. The event, dubbed OMJeans, will be held Sept. 16-17.
- Highlights of the effort include an array of denim-touting mannequins, denim-covered loungers for photo moments, a $1,000 giveaway and a surprise musical performance. The installation also features QR codes on denim products for on-the-spot purchases.
- The expansive push is being promoted on the retailer’s owned social channels, along with through out-of-home (OOH) marketing, including a 3D billboard in Times Square. The move arrives as American Eagle continues to strategize ways to connect with its target Gen Z audience.
American Eagle is rounding out the back-to-school season with a hyper-focus on denim, the retailer’s core offering. Launched in July, the brand’s back-to-school campaign has touched on social media, a tie-up with “Dance Moms” alums Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler, and now, an installment that CMO Craig Brommers describes as American Eagle’s biggest outdoor push since the pandemic began as it vies to shore up a more authentic connection to Gen Z.
The OMJeans event at High Line Park will feature over 150 jean colors, sizes and fits for both men and women, offering consumers a variety of immersive experiences as they get to know the product. A slew of mannequins will show off the styles starting at the park’s 14th Street passage, while American Eagle is running a similar takeover of the 10th Avenue Amphitheater, where more mannequins will be arranged. The activations feature QR-coded denim, including on both mannequins and in images, which consumers can scan to shop designated styles of jeans on the spot.
Also present are photo opportunities, encouraged with denim-covered loungers that are meant to look like the back pocket of a pair of American Eagle jeans. Visitors will additionally have the opportunity to enter a giveaway to win $1,000 to be spent on a jean haul or the grand prize, a trip to the destination of the winner’s choosing. A surprise guest is also slated to perform on Sept. 16.
“Our vision for this innovative installation is to show up where millions of people experience the city, bringing to life the heritage and timelessness of AE jeans,” said Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director for American Eagle and Aerie, in a statement.
Along with promoting the retailer’s jeans, OMJeans is meant to boost sign-ups for American Eagle’s AE Real Rewards Credit Card. Consumers can learn more about the offering alongside the brand’s financing partner, Synchrony, at dedicated stations. Attendees can scan a QR code at the event to apply for the credit card and receive 30% off their first purchase after approval.
OOH elements center on a 3D billboard in Times Square, which will showcase the brand’s jeans in a way that’s meant to appear as if they are dancing. The retailer is also placing media within NYC subways. Rounding out the effort will be videos on social media across American Eagle’s owned channels.
Aside from its back-to-school marketing push, American Eagle this year has made frequent attempts to strike a chord with the younger generation. For instance, the retailer in June teamed with cast members of the Gen Z-favored drama “The Summer I Turned Pretty” for a campaign — affectionately titled “The Summer of Us” — that emphasized a theme of human connection. Sister brand Aerie has made similar efforts, including a recent pop-up event, also in NYC, in an effort to boost Gen Z awareness of its intimate apparel business.
At the conclusion of the OMJeans event, American Eagle will recycle all used denim through the Cotton Blue Jeans Go Green program, which it has partnered with since 2008. Since the start of its partnership, the retailer has donated over 600,000 pieces of denim.