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American Eagle Outfitters puts unique spin on new marketing

American Eagle Outfitters enlisted its Gen Z customers to star in its new marketing campaign — and also gave them full creative control.

The teen apparel retailer’s spring #AExME campaign was photographed, styled and creatively directed by ten real and authentic Gen-Zers who shop and wear American Eagle clothes. The individuals, or “cast members,” were discovered solely through social media, and no exotic locations or contrived sets were used in the campaign. Instead, they are seen in their own personal environments “to showcase the endless possibilities in which the AE community can define their individual style,” American Eagle said.

Also, no professional photographers and stylists were used in the effort. Instead, the cast photographed themselves in a series of self-portrait images shot entirely with iPhones and disposable and medium format film cameras. And the photos were not altered, a policy that both American Eagle and its intimates brand, Aeries, adhered to in recent years.

“As a brand, AE has been a pioneer in collaborating with today’s youth to support self-expression and prioritizing their individuality,” said Chad Kessler, global brand president, American Eagle. “This spring, AE is amplifying the voices of our customers by joining forces with a group of inspiring Gen-Zers to help encourage others to share their unique style through our spring collection and Ne(X)t Level Jeans.”

The campaign will come to life across American Eagle’s social media, Google Preferred videos, and via in-store imagery.
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