(Filed Under wholesale Men's Underwear News). American Eagle Outfitters has “pledged” to “forgo retouching its male models in its underwear and swim images beginning Holiday 2016.”
This in what seems to be part of a search by the company to duplicate the success of its women’s Aerie Real campaign.
In April the company also noted that a March video campaign that featured men in their underwear, some of them bulkier and not the typically toned, six-pack displaying models always associated with men’s underwear ads, was a hoax. It was “all in good fun to parody” the women’s #AerieReal campaign launched two years ago.
The women’s campaign, which also came with the promise not to retouch its female models, marked a move by the company away from the somewhat older looking and more overtly sexy-looking models, it had used in previous advertisements.
Aerie now attributes the serious increase in sales—including a 20% jump in 2015—to those new promotions.
American Eagle claimed its intention with the men’s underwear April Fool’s joke was to “raise awareness around body diversity,” noting that “The #AerieMAN campaign, which sparked immediate online chatter and debate, challenged how brands market to the male customer, and portrayed a lighthearted, creative interpretation of “the women’s #AerieReal message.
It is also hard not to see it as something of a trial balloon to see how far it could go, and what could be achieved, with a men’s campaign to match the women’s.
In announcing the hoax the company also noted, somewhat defensively, that it had “donated $25,000 to the National Eating Disorders Association, a non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders and an ongoing partner with Aerie.”
American Eagle boasted the ads proved “once again they’re not afraid to take a risk and have a laugh in support of a good cause.”
“We aren’t afraid of being bold in how we engage our customers, whether through a video that makes you think twice, or challenging the norm in how a brand markets to men,” declared Chad Kessler, American Eagle’s global brand president. “We are an all-inclusive brand and we know our male customers respond to humor. We look forward to continuing to innovate and evolve the American Eagle Outfitters product offerings.”
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