I’m a social-media junkie. Like most of my millennial peers, I check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat repeatedly throughout the day. I used to just use Snapchat to see what other people were doing, but recently I have become a huge fan of the discovery channels. I watch the Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed channels almost everyday (there is something that makes it seem urgent when you know it will be gone in 24 hours – I will have to cover that in another blog post) and explore other channels when I have free time.
Today on the Cosmo channel, they covered a story about the #AerieReal campaign. The story mostly highlighted model Barbie Ferreira, who is a size 12 and was recently added to the campaign. The whole idea behind the #AerieREAL campaign is that in all of their content the models are completely unretouched. The photos show things like stretch marks and birthmarks, and don’t photoshop or trim any part of the body. In the new ad, Ferreira wears a pink strappy bikini and talks about how “the world needs more woman who are strong.” You can see the video here.
Having been a frequent shopper of American Eagle, I have followed Aerie for a few years. This #AerieREAL campaign has really shaped their brand and the way that the company operates, which has been interesting to look at from a PR student’s perspective. The campaign doesn’t end in the advertisements, all of the photos on the website, including those that show the lingerie and clothing being sold, are unedited and the company’s social media is littered with request for fans to tell why they are #AerieREAL. With one of the company’s many competitors being Victoria’s Secret, they are definitely separating themselves and moving in a different direction. In an industry where the standard is showing perfect girls with perfect bodies, Aerie is taking a chance that I admire. According to this adweek.com story written in 2014, the company’s sales increased by 9% when they stopped retouching photos. With a target market of females mostly below the age of 25, Aerie is making huge strides in body positivity. Ferreira is one of their largest sized models to date, but for some time the brand has provided an online sizing guide that featured photos of women of all sizes in the companies products, to give users an idea of how it would fit them. With the tagline “the real you is sexy,” the campaign is inspiring girls all around the country to be comfortable with their bodies. With a message that important, Aerie is definitely a company that I will continue to support!
Read a similar story to the one found on snapchat here and let me know what you think of the campaign in the comments!