Going shopping and feeling like a brand really gets your sense of style is something special. Sure, cute clothes are great, but getting a feeling that a brand truly embraces your personal style is more rare. American Eagle's new AExME National Casting Call campaign is taking the idea of truly making the customer the emphasis of the brand to the next level. Starting on May 24 (and going until June 27), customers will be able to enter a competition to be a model featured in American Eagle advertisements in stores next spring. All it takes is snapping an American Eagle fitting room selfie paired with the hashtag #AExME and the handle @americaneagle and you're entered. Specifically, AE is looking for people to show off their personal style in AE pieces in a way that feels totally unique to each individual.
"We value individuality, freedom and self expression and we believe your style is the best way to show the world who you are. We choose people for our campaigns because they have a story to tell and we want to give them the platform do so. So we look for all different kinds of people that feel empowered by what they wear," Kyle Andrew - EVP, Chief Marketing Officer of American Eagle tells Bustle in an email.
Using Instagram for casting isn't exactly new for the brand, Andrew tells Bustle, but this particular competition is unique.
"We currently utilize Instagram to connect with our customer and cast for our campaigns. We are excited to bring this to our stores, in order to reach more of our customers," Andrew says. "Our stores are such an important part of our business — millions of people come into our stores everyday, as they are a great place to touch and feel our product and connect with our brand."
While AExME isn't new for the brand, the chance for anyone to be featured in an official American Eagle campaign certainly is. In a statement from the brand, AExME is described as "AE’s new platform that encourages shoppers to be their true selves and celebrate their creativity. AE first introduced #AExME with an on-going campaign showcasing real people in their own spaces to highlight individuality, originality and self-expression in youth culture." This new extension of AExME — the "Be In Our Campaign" casting call is the newest way the brand is allowing its customers to showcase their personal style in an engaging way. And if you're wondering if it's really that easy to enter the competition, the answer is yes.
"We are an inclusive brand so we don't put any kinds of restrictions or rules around how we choose our cast. All people are welcome — all sizes, shapes, colors, and backgrounds. We want to find real people who represent this generation and span all different backgrounds, skills and professions and are special because of what they do and not just what they look like," Andrew says.
Andrew goes on to tell Bustle that, "There are many goals but one of the most important ones is to encourage our customers to use their voice to tell their unique story and we want to be the platform that allows them to do this."
While Andrew says that there will definitely be at least one person chosen for the Spring '19 campaign, the possibilities are really endless depending on the reaction from customers and how many people participate.
"Since this is the first time we are doing this, we don't know what kind of response we will get," Andrew says. 'So we will definitely pick at least one person to be featured in the Spring '19 campaign, but you never know — we may find we get some many great entires that we will feature more."
It's as simple as that. So next time you're at American Eagle and snap a mirror selfie, you might end up getting more than just likes.