- American Eagle (AE) announced via a news release the launch of the fall campaign for its Ne(X)t Level Jeans. The push extends its #AExME brand platform and features actual customers and a store associate, who were photographed in environments reflecting music and creativity. Cast members share their unique stories and styles for the back-to-school collection.
- The campaign includes a one-minute video, titled "Make Moves," that is set to Kendrick Lamar's "DNA" and shows real customers of diverse backgrounds, genders and sizes going throughout their days in Ne(X)t Level jeans. American Eagle is also releasing the "#AEJeans Made For You" denim guide that celebrates different body shapes and showcases its range of sizes.
- AE also partnered with Universal Music Group and Brands (UMGB) to identify emerging musicians, including Bea Miller, Bibi Bourelly, Jade Bird, Lewis Capaldi and Trinidad Cardona, for a digital content series that will show each artist's journey. They will be integrated into the campaign wearing American Eagle jeans. The effort additionally includes a "Rock the Vote" T-shirt design contest, where fans are asked to show how they drive change through art. Four of the designs will be produced and sold, with proceeds going to the organization.
American Eagle’s multichannel campaign shows how the retailer is taking a fresh approach to its marketing, focusing on diversity, emerging music artists and its customers, after experiencing one of its worst years on record in 2017. By ramping up investments in e-commerce and marketing, AE has managed to spark a bit of a turnaround this year, per Seeking Alpha. Its lifestyle brand Aerie has also taken off and commands a major portion of sales.
With the latest push, AE is building on its record jeans sales and continuing to grow its market share by targeting younger consumers. Gen Zers tend to have strong senses of identity and increasingly expect brands to reflect them. By featuring a diverse cast of real-life customers, AE could help its products and brand stand out in the crowded but key back-to-school shopping season.
Recognizing greater diversity in retail marketing campaigns is becoming more popular as brands try to court younger consumers. Fashion brand Modcloth in June launched a "Say It Louder" campaign — its largest since being acquired by Walmart-owned Jet last year — to spotlight female figures who are making a difference and embracing a message of women's empowerment. Bonobos, which, like ModCloth, is owned by Walmart, also recently rolled out a campaign featuring a diverse group of men discussing and challenging traditional definitions of masculinity, including through a micro-documentary that quickly went viral.