I’m not sure if anyone saw or heard anything of this, but this was a marketing ploy done by the company that I work with all by the power of social media.
I came across this one afternoon while browsing Instagram. It was a picture posted by American Eagle Outfitters with a spray can, introducing their new “Skinny Skinny” with a price tag of $39.95. I was confused at first and thought someone had to have hacked their account. I went to AEO’s website and sure enough, there was a link to purchase the jeans. It was “one size fits all” and just a picture of the same spray can I saw in Instagram. I tried to purchase it and an alert came up notifying me “We’re sorry! This product has been completely sold out. Please enter your email so we can send you a notice when we are restocked!” I called me manager and asked her if she had any clue what this was or if any customers had asked about it and she was just as confused as I was. So naturally, I googled it. I ended up finding AEO’s blog (which I didn’t realize we had) with a video introducing this new jean fit. Immediately you could tell these jeans were sprayed on, and In my opinion by no way a real item. We still had no information from cooperate about the validity of the jeans so we were at a loss for words. AEO promoted this item on Instagram, their blog, twitter, and Facebook. Every platform available was reached. We even had the video above in the link playing at our stores on our tvs. 11 days later, AEO revealed the truth it; it was a ‘joke’.
This blog post from AEO explains “The Real Deal on the AEO Skinny Skinny”. http://www.ae.com/blog/skinnyskinny/
In the end, it was a marketing ploy to get our name and brand out there, recognized, make people curious about our company, and hopefully visit our website and/or stores to shop and see what we are all about. We also gave coupons out to those who gave their email when trying to purchase the “Skinny Skinny” and there was a disclaimer and apology in the email and a number to call if you were deeply affected by this joke.
AEO used Web 2.0 and social media to it’s complete advantage. I know I shared this information about these ridiculous jeans on my Facebook, so all of my friends were informed. They may have then shared the post from my page to reach all of their friends. I am sure American Eagle gained new followers (or fans) on all of the their platforms and also had spot on the Today Show. If interested, the link for the Today Show footage is below.
Using twitter analytics from twitonomy.com, @AEO’s fourth most retweeted tweet is the introduction of the “Skinny Skinny”. Clearly this marketing strategy with use of social media made quite an impact.
Personally, i was very relieved to find out this was a joke and I wasn’t going to have to deal with people retuning half empty bottles of jean spray paint because “they didn’t fit”.