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American Eagle Outfitters: How to Make Your Customers Your Marketing — Live from BlogWell

Coverage of this session by Sprout Social’s Social Marketing Specialist, Sarah Mordis. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

3:50 —’s Kurt Vanderah introduces American Eagle Outfitters’ Marketing Manager – Social Media, Jamie Simoni.

3:51 — The problem AEO faced: Sea of sameness

3:53 – First they established their brand DNA: “Denim is at our core, clothes that are cool that aren’t trying to be. We’re real, we fit everyone, we welcome all.”

3:54 – “What better way to show we’re a real brand than to put real people in our ads?”

3:55 – Project Live your Life 2.0 was born.

3:56 – This campaign started in October 2012 and culminated in May 2013 (going through legal, approvals, the contest registration and voting, etc.)

3:57 – AEO captured emails, phone numbers (both opt-in), individual style preference and “passion” tags, their favorite AEO jean style, and more for contest entrants. Entrants could upload photos of their art, fashion, etc. AEO got to learn a lot about each person this way.

3:59 – Contest entrants received 30% off purchase, and voters received 20% off.

4:00 – AEO awarded gift cards to top winners, and the grand prize included cash along with the chance to be in AEO’s marketing.

4:02 – AEO promoted this contest through Facebook (paid ads and non-paid posts), tweets, email marketing, SMS, and then allowed entrants and voters to share on Twitter (#liveyourlife) and Facebook.

4:04 – The results: AEO got to really know their audience as contestant profiles were full of photos and media. Revenue was up over 1000%. Social media drove 75% of traffic to the contest site.

4:07 – What AEO learned: They kept adding to the contest and it was delayed. There were also claims of cheating and vote buying. They will relaunch this campaign this fall and remedy these issues.

Q & A:

Q: Did the Live your Life 2.0 campaign have any relation or context to the parody “skinny skinny jeans” campaign (with painted-on jeans)?

A: Jamie said AEO tries to not take itself so seriously and decided to poke a little fun at how jeans are getting skinnier and skinnier.

Q: How did AEO decide to build this campaign? And why not just on Facebook?

A: AEO wanted to make sure campaign was dynamic and fit all of their needs. Building it on Facebook would be limiting.

Q: Cosmind from RadioShack asked if AEO thought Instagram would be a good component for the campaign?

A: Jamie said they plan to integrate with Instagram going forward because they realize there’s value in that channel.

Q: Ruby from Redbox asked if Abercrombie’s recent bad press is the reason AEO is branded as “real people.”

A: Jamie said that they don’t use it to their advantage, but real people have always been the core of their image.

Q: How did AEO entice their entrants? And how has this contributed to AEO’s success?

A: Jamie said they had 6,800 entrants and found that the weekly contest helped fuel the campaign during the duration of it. AEO currently has 8.8 million fans on Facebook.

Today is Jamie’s birthday! So we all sang to her.

June 19, 2013 0 comments

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