American Eagle launched its “Live Your Life” campaign in 2012 as a way to tap into the creative community and connect with its young audience. After two years and accolades as one of the 15 best marketing campaigns from the Cassandra Report in 2013, American Eagle brought back their Live Your Life campaign in a big way.
Life Your Life promotes the image of American Eagle as a means for consumers to create their own style, rather than fit in to a pre-determined mold. Back in 2012, Michael Leedy, American Eagle’s chief marketing officer told Women’s Wear Daily: “We’re really asking our customer to take [the brand] and make it their own.”
The campaign is supported by its eponymous contest, which asks users to create profiles that share their hobbies and creative work with the world. Contestants are encouraged to upload as much content as they want, videos, music, quotes and photos. Other users vote, and the winners get to appear in an American Eagle campaign and win $2,500.
This sort of “gamification” is in fact, a highly useful tool in web marketing that heavily boosts user engagement.
This year American Eagle launched a web series as part of the Live Your Life campaign featuring fans who were sent to San Francisco to explore their creative passions. It features Bailey, an aspiring photographer who appear in American Eagle ads, in addition to photographing his own. Another duo, Adria and Teren, design t-shirts to be sold on American Eagle’s website. The latter half of the series focuses on community engagement programs, including a foundation to bring performing arts back to schools and an “alternative spring break” where students beautify urban areas.
That episode is in fact a larger part of an American Eagle community engagement program, called #HeartThisCity. The company partnered with the Student Conservation Association to combat urban blight by cleaning up and beautifying city parks.
All of this is not only good for society, but a smart marketing move in a world where 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for goods that came from a socially responsible company. American Eagle’s corporate responsibility program, which aptly proclaims “Live Your Life For a Better World,” includes the American Eagle Outfitters Foundation which offers grants and partnerships for non-profits and heads community initiatives of its own.
We’re crazy about the blending of community engagement and marketing here at Altitude. It’s why, in 2010, we acquired EcoMedia, a company devoted to “turning advertising into an engine for social change.” Doing good and making money aren’t mutually exclusive, and American Eagle nails it with their latest campaign. Paired with an experiential campaign that promotes a positive message, American Eagle has crafted a marketing strategy to cement its position as a leader in its industry.