Celebrities and everyday women, tattoos and stretch marks: #AerieREAL

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On Sunday, my before church ritual involves a Cup of Joe and CBS Sunday Morning. The show recently featured a company killin’ it with their latest ad campaign. In cooldeb terms, read killin’ it = knowing thy audience. The messaging is intentional, thoughtful and allows peoples to be seen. (Plural intentional). And it’s a beautiful celebration of women during Women’s History Month.

Aerie: root in your truth

Women models pose next to each other for the #AerieREAL campaign
The #AerieREAL role model team
Photo Credit: http://blog.ae.com/2019/01/31/introducing-your-new-aeriereal-role-models/

The company is Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle Outfitters. And the campaign is called Your real power is YOU #AerieREAL. The campaign includes women we recognize like Aly Raisman and Samira Wiley. Equally important, it includes new and unknown faces. The overarching theme is authenticity, fearlessness, voice, smile, acceptance and strength. These themes define the unique capability and ability of all women: feel powerful in your skin and know who you are. For me, it’s all about rooting in your truth.

Bring it but leave the photoshopping behind

During the segment, the VP of Marketing stated former customers are now the face of the industry. This means everyday people like you and me. So no photoshopping allowed! Aerie is meeting women right where they’re at and on their terms. It’s a ‘bring it ya’ll‌’ attitude. Bring the tats, stretch marks, age, scars, skin conditions, skin color and body sizes. All are not only welcome, but also invited. And with intention.

Women, represented

Brenna Huckaby is one of the women representing the inclusiveness of the #AerieREAL campaign
Brenna Huckaby, an #AerieREAL role model
Photo Credit: http://blog.ae.com/2019/01/31/get-to-know-aeriereal-role-model-brenna-huckaby/

In this campaign, you’ll see a model with a prosthetic leg. A model with an insulin pump. A model with Down syndrome.

CBS Sunday Morning also interviewed the Global Brand President. She shared Aerie now has an opportunity to show women who they are. And more importantly, what they represent – “a drive, a mission, a cause.”

Ah. Yes and ma’am. In other words, the world is big and we look different. We have unique stories. And the Aerie brand stands ready with wide open arms. Ready to embrace diverse identities and inclusive stories. It’s not about the bra or underwear. It’s about women…all women.

Think broadly, act broadly

It’s really that simple. To be honest, I’m rather dumbfounded how more brands miss this. There’s an amazing opportunity to speak with a greater voice and awareness. And this goes beyond gender – watch the the entire CBS morning episode.

If you’re in the marketing industry, require your creative team or agency to think broadly. Be mindful and thoughtful with inclusive visuals and messaging. As a result, your audience will see themselves because you created reception space. Reception is reach; reach is value.

Now, it’s your turn! What say you? Share your thoughts on the #AerieREAL campaign. Or share your thoughts on any ad campaign you relate to because of the messaging.

And if you manage a brand or work with an agency who could use an #AerieREAL perspective, hit me up. This is a creative service offering by Seachange Branding. It’s near and dear to me and a passion point – yoking messaging and visuals to speak truthfully to target audiences.

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Kathleen D · at

I enjoyed that interpretation and request for consideration of your creative sisters and brothers.

Kim A. · at

Very cool idea – especially love the diversity of these women.

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