American Eagle takes marketing into the metaverse

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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american eagle
American Eagle Spring '22 ‘Members Always' campaign featuring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Michael Evans Behling, Madelyn Cline, Joshua Bassett. Credit: AEO, Inc.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is spreading its wings into Roblox and flying higher with Snapchat as part of its spring campaign.

The specialty apparel brand is launching its spring 2022 “Members Always” campaign with metaverse extensions across Roblox, Snapchat, and TikTok. In the metaverse, consumers use augmented and virtual reality technology to digitally engage with each other and their surroundings, with crossovers into the physical world.

The campaign marks American Eagle’s debut on Roblox, a popular virtual gaming platform that is gaining popularity among specialty apparel and fashion retailers. American Eagle will open a metaverse adaptation of the campaign on Livetopia, a top role-playing game on the Roblox platform. Customers will be able to virtually visit the “AE Members Always Club” section of Livetopia while collecting exclusive game items, including styles from the American Eagle spring collection, to outfit their branded avatars.

In December 2021, Forever 21 launched a similar fashion retail experience on Roblox called “Forever 21 Shop City.” December also saw Ralph Lauren run a holiday-themed digital promotion, The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape, on Roblox. A gender-neutral, digital clothing collection featuring limited-edition items was introduced within the experience.

And in June 2021, teen apparel retailer Pacsun also partnered with Roblox to make select clothing items available in the Roblox Avatar Marketplace. Roblox players can use their “Robux” online currency (purchased with regular currency) to customize their in-game avatars with Pacsun-branded clothing and fashion accessories.

In addition, American Eagle is increasing its presence on Snapchat through a new “AE Lens” to play an interactive AR tennis match where they can earn points aiming for spring collection targets, as well as shop for items from the spring assortment. Customers can also use Snapchat to scan Coco Gauff-featured store window displays and unlock an immersive AR experience in the Snapchat camera.

[Read more: Snapchat introduces virtual shopping tools]

Headlining the campaign images and video are tennis player Coco Gauff, actor and musician Joshua Bassett, actors Madelyn Cline, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Michael Evans Behling, and multi-hyphenate mxmtoon.To launch the campaign, American Eagle will host a “Members Always” social liveseries featuring the campaign headliners on the Instagram American Eagle page on Wednesday, March 2, at 3 p.m.ET, to participate in a virtual conversation with Bassett and Gauff.

“American Eagle’s ‘Members Always’ campaign represents our belief that this generation has the power to come together and create a place where everyone belongs. Coco, Joshua, Madelyn, Maitreyi, Michael and mxmtoon share a unique point of view on today's world that empowers others to believe in the limitless possibilities of tomorrow,” said Jennifer Foyle, president – executive creative director, American Eagle & Aerie. “Our Spring collection is a fresh approach to nostalgic-inspired trends. Flares are back, so are wider and looser fits, and of course, the best of the ‘90s. The assortment inspires customers to show up to be themselves.”

American Eagle is also introducing “Future Together,” a new philanthropic brand platform. This year, the company will award $200,000 in total grants to 20 recipients working for positive change in their local communities. Customers will be invited to share their cause-driven mission for an opportunity to be selected as a grant recipient. The spring campaign cast will launch the program through social and volunteer initiatives with the causes and charity partners of their choice.