Dive Brief:

  • American Eagle will make its Roblox debut to promote a spring “Members Always” collection that draws on vintage and prep styles and emphasizes inclusivity, per a news release.
  • The retailer partnered with Livetopia, a role-playing game on Roblox, to create a virtual AE Members Always Club that users can explore while hunting for apparel based on the seasonal collection. Livetopia is a top-10 game on Roblox with over 1.5 billion visits to date, per the release.
  • American Eagle is also using Snapchat’s augmented reality (AR) and Marker Tech features to bridge its physical and digital marketing. The brand developed a custom lens that opens a tennis match where players can accrue points to put toward the spring lineup, while store window displays featuring ambassador Coco Gauff can be scanned to unlock a separate immersive AR experience powered by Marker Tech.

Dive Insight:

American Eagle is putting a spin on the concept of a members-only club with its Members Always collection, which centers on inclusivity and connection. Several tech elements support the campaign’s broader themes of welcoming, including the retailer’s first move on Roblox, a title that is popular with its target Gen Alpha and Gen Z consumers and closely associated with the metaverse.

More brands are gravitating to Roblox as they try to engage an audience of 55 million daily active users, many of whom are hard to reach through traditional media. Nike last year opened Nikeland, an interactive space on Roblox where players could try on digital versions of the sportswear marketer’s gear and participate in activities like dodge ball. Companies from Vans to Hyundai have employed similar tactics as they look to dip their toes into the metaverse, a broad buzzword referring to platforms that can link together aspects of the real and virtual worlds.

Rather than making its own Roblox game from scratch, American Eagle has partnered with an existing role-playing offering that already receives a heavy amount of traffic and could carry more familiarity with users who would otherwise be wary of participating in a branded activation. While practical applications of the metaverse are still being ironed out, apparel marketers see an opportunity to showcase their products as players personalize digital avatars through custom skins and outfits.

American Eagle frequently experiments on emerging platforms to keep pace with where young consumers are spending their time. Campaigns in recent years have narrowed in on sites like Twitch and TikTok, with a heavy focus on creator partnerships.

The ambassador roster for Members Always includes tennis player Gauff, who plays a key role in the interactive Snapchat store displays, as well as multihyphenate artist Mxmtoon and actors Joshua Bassett, Madelyn Cline, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Michael Evans Behling. Along with video ads bringing together the influencers, American Eagle will host a series of Instagram livestream conversations spotlighting their stories starting today with a virtual conversation between Gauff and Bassett.

Additionally, the marketer unveiled a new Future Together philanthropic platform that aims to amplify social causes that young consumers care about. The program will dole out a total of $200,000 in grants to 20 recipients and launch social and volunteer initiatives with the help of the Members Always ambassadors.

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