American Eagle turns to music, metaverse for back-to-school promo

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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American Eagle
American Eagle’s fall 2022 back-to-school campaign will feature Blu DeTiger (Photo: Business Wire)

American Eagle is launching music-focused initiatives across major metaverse and social media platforms as part of its fall back-to-school campaign.

The specialty apparel retailer, a banner of American Eagle Outfitters Inc., is rolling out the promotions across the Meta Quest 2 and Roblox metaverse environments, as well as on TikTok’s new SoundOn music and marketing distribution platform.

Following are highlights of American’s Eagle’s activities on each platform.

American Eagle will be the first brand to utilize TikTok’s SoundOn to enlist one of its artists to create a custom song. SoundOn enables artists to upload their music directly to TikTok and over 90 other platforms to begin earning royalties. The retailer tapped emerging TikTok artist Katherine Li to update a portion of her forthcoming release as the American Eagle back-to-school anthem.

Li and five other creators will use the song to kick off a dedicated “hit the cell” (HTC – a prompt for TikTok users to post a video of themselves performing a specific action) on Tuesday, Aug. 23, inviting users to create a music video while wearing American Eagle jeans and using the hashtag #AEJeansSoundOn. The HTC will end on Thursday, Aug. 25 with the retailer selecting three winners to receive a gift card valued at $3,000, and their video will appear on the American Eagle Times Square billboard in Manhattan.

Meta Quest 2
American Eagle will also be the first brand to offer customers the in-store experience of viewing a 360-degree video on Meta Quest 2. Within eight American Eagle store locations across the country, consumers can interact with a behind-the-scenes video of the brand built-out studio space, shot specifically for the virtual reality technology, featuring its 2022 back-to-school campaign.

The experience will premiere in stores on Saturday, Aug. 20, and also be available to view at home through FB 360 Video or YouTube 360 video.

On Friday, Aug. 19, music performer Blu DeTiger will perform her song “Vintage” on a custom “indie pop”-themed stage. The stage will feature a “like” module allowing audience members the opportunity to interact with the performance by being able to hit a like button. Players can also participate in a back-to-school-themed scavenger hunt to unlock custom American Eagle toys and plushies.

The retailer’s virtual Roblox club will also feature two DJ booths, playing hip hop/R&B and pop/dance music, each with their own merch stand.

Previously, American Eagle Outfitters launched its spring 2022 “Members Always” campaign with metaverse extensions across platforms including Roblox. Customers were able to virtually visit the “AE Members Always Club” section of the Livetopia Roblox game while collecting exclusive game items, including styles from the American Eagle spring collection, to outfit their avatars.

“This season, we are excited to offer our community multiple ways to express their personal style through a series of activations meant to inspire customers to pair the jeans they love with the music they love,” said Jennifer Foyle, president - chief creative officer, AE and Aerie. “As a leader in innovation, American Eagle is the first to partner with TikTok’s SoundOn platform to continue to collaborate with emerging creators and artists, and provide them with a space where they can share their passion for music with the world.”

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. operates under its American Eagle and Aerie brands. The company operates stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Hong Kong, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle and Aerie merchandise also is available at more than 270 international locations operated by licensees in 25 countries.