- Posted February 23, 2014 by
American Eagle Challenged By Blogger To Feature Women of All Shapes and Sizes in Their New #AerieREAL Campaign Images
Throughout the last few weeks American Eagles’ lingerie brand Aerie has been garnering plenty of media attention after launching their latest marketing campaign #AerieREAL. What makes this particular fashion campaign unique is Aerie’s promise to use non-airbrushed images in all of their advertising from now on. Saying “no” to the blatantly photo-shopped and overly edited images, which are typically seen in lingerie advertising directed towards young women. Instead of featuring stick thin supermodels in their advertisements Aerie has decided to use more average sized models that display a relatable girl next-door image in the hope of making their marketing more relatable to women within their target demographic.
The #AerieREAL campaign launched mid January and since then has inspired many bloggers and online personalities to chime in with their thoughts on this innovative new campaign. The common consensus amongst the general public appears to be that the #AerieREAL movement is generally refreshing with thousands of young girls proudly displaying the #AerieREAL viral hash tag on their social media profiles. However, there are still some critics out there who feel as if Aerie’s campaign is a bit of a facade. There have been a few body image and self-esteem bloggers who have gone as far as to challenge Aerie to push their campaign to the next level and display women of truly diverse shapes and forms in their advertisements.
This is because, although Aerie’s campaign claims to be free of airbrushing and supermodels, the young women featured in Aerie’s new marketing lack any real body or ethnic diversity. Last week, when Aerie released their 2014 spring bathing suit line marketing images, garnering the mantra “Bikini bodies come in all shapes and sizes”. This slogan, which is commonly praised amongst plus size, feminist, and eating disorder awareness groups (jut to name a few) is typically used to illustrate the attitude that women of all shapes and sizes can wear bikini’s. Going against the idea that only those with toned and petite figures should be able to enjoy this summer fashion essential. Aerie’s adaptation of the mantra was paired with yet another image of a fit well-toned fresh-faced model. It came to no surprise that there was a slightly disgruntle response from the blogosphere when Aerie brandished this slogan with their 2014 spring bikini line. Some even took to various social media to express their feelings about Aerie’s poor illustration of this sentiment.
Better Bras Canada, an emerging lingerie blog founded in attempt to bring a more diverse selection of lingerie to Canada challenged Aerie via twitter to start living up to the slogan that they have borrowed and begin using women of all shapes and sizes in there new marketing. To which, Aerie’s social media manager on twitter responded, “challenge accepted.”
Then, Better Bras Canada posted a screenshot of Aerie’s public acceptance and this news posting. Vowing to hold the corporation up to their promise. This garnered widespread attention in Canada, as more social media users began spreading the word challenging the Aerie arm of American Eagle Outfitters to put there money where their mouth is and begin using models that represent their full range of offered sizes.
“When American you came out with your #AerieREAL campaign, you stepped into a new arena. Obviously the folks over at American eagle wanted this campaign to get attention.” Brandie Peters, Better Bras Canada Founder and blog manager says in her post directed at Aerie’s marketers “However, when you jump into bed with a cause as huge as the female self esteem movement you better be prepared to put out. I think I speak for many of us when I say that I am so sick of companies pretending to care about these issues and then discarding them when the opportunity arises to truly make a difference”
The article, which reads as doubtful that Aerie will follow through, ends with a simple “Good Luck With Your Challenge” appropriately referencing the currently trending NekNominate fad.
It will be interesting to see what Aerie’s next move is in the coming months. Will they abandon their new marketing approach all together and return to “old habits” of casting and photo shopping super models? Or will they take this as an invitation to be true pioneers of the lingerie fashion industry.