American Eagle Launches Back to School ’20 Campaign Shot Entirely Over Zoom Highlighting the Self-Expression of Youth Culture and Their Love of TikTok

Brand Combines Technology with Innovation and Taps Real Kids, Including TikTok Star Addison Rae, to Showcase Newness in Jeans, Featuring Ultimate Comfort for Limitless Movement

07.21.20 NEW YORK – (BUSINESS WIRE) – American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) announced today that its American Eagle brand will launch its #AExME Back To School (BTS) ‘20 Campaign which depicts the self-expression happening in youth culture, particularly across social media. The campaign represents the brand’s latest iteration of its #AExME platform, which features real, everyday kids. For the BTS ‘20 Campaign, AE cast young people with a shared passion for dance for its first-ever virtually-produced campaign inspired by TikTok and its creative relevancy to the AE community. Simultaneously, the brand is launching an innovative assortment of new jeans for Fall with the debut of its Dream and AirFlex+ Athletic fits.

As social distancing became the new reality, AE leaned further into the evolution of its #AExME platform of handing over complete creative control to a cast of real kids, although this time virtually. The campaign was directed, shot, and produced entirely through Zoom, in addition to cell phone photography, polaroid, and camera film capture. Elements traditionally conducted in person took on the form of virtual tutorials, including hair and makeup guidance by artist Allie Smith. Continuing the work of the past highly revered #AExME campaigns, the cast shot all content and styled themselves in AE’s collection of jeans, tops and accessories. The group worked closely with the AE creative team across the U.S. to receive live edits. The campaign video, set to the song “Boa Noite” by Tropkillaz, and imagery utilizes components to mirror TikTok content with unique transitions that are relevant to the brand’s socially connected community.

“At AE, we are always looking to engage with our customers on how and where they are spending their time – TiKTok has become increasingly important.  Although back to school may look different this year, we know that our customers will continue to express themselves through music and dance and that social media will remain the #1 one way they interact. Technology, innovation and social media offer AE an opportunity to connect our community with each other, and our brand, even if we aren’t physically together,” said Chad Kessler, American Eagle Global Brand President. “As the leader in jeans, AE continues to prioritize quality, fit and comfort for the back to school season. The new campaign showcases the ultimate comfort and flexibility of our new Dream and AirFlex+ Athletic fits through the power of movement. We believe a great fitting pair of AE jeans are the perfect back to school style no matter where that is.”

 Representing diverse backgrounds in dance, from ballet, jazz, hip hop to tap and contemporary, the cast includes Donyea MartinHannah HawkinsIrene LunaJevohn GentryMakayla London, and Sumi Oshima. The cast was also joined by creator Addison Rae, who has over 50M TikTok followers and is the second-most-followed person on the platform. Recognized for expressing herself through music and dance, Addison has already created an authentic connection with the AE community through earlier initiatives including the #AExMEProm.

“I have been wearing American Eagle jeans for as long as I can remember, so being a part of the back to school campaign felt authentic to my real style,” said Addison Rae. “AE understands what my generation wants, and I love how the brand empowers kids to express themselves, which for me is through music and dance.”

The campaign illustrates the cast expressing themselves through dance, the ultimate form of movement, and highlights how the jeans’ advanced fabric makes for endless stretch and unparalleled comfort. This Fall, the brand introduces the following:

  • For her, the Dream fit offers booty-lifting, body-hugging, four-way stretch with endless holding power that never bags out.
  • For him, the Airflex+ Athletic fit was designed in the highest level of stretch fabric for lightweight flexibility and comfort.
  • An assortment of tops and layering options that the customer can style into their everyday wardrobe to show their creativity, tapping into themes of 90’s nostalgia and 70’s revival for her, and drawing inspiration from sport and streetwear for him.