Aerie, the teen retailer that’s already won American girls over as a “no retouching” ad pioneer, is taking its feel-better mission one step further. The company is introducing #AerieREAL PSA (Positive Scrolling Always), a new campaign designed to get young women to share upbeat messages.
The intimate apparel retailer, owned by American Eagle Outfitters, says the idea is to transform social media from a source of misery into a more inspirational experience.
The new effort includes a TikTok hashtag challenge and a literal Happy Spot, a spring break event to be held in Miami.
To get the PSAs rolling, Aerie is beefing up its roster of influencers, including gymnast Aly Raisman, TikTokker Hannah Schlenker and pop-country singer Kelsea Ballerini.
New to the positivity posse: TikTokkers Erika Priscilla and Elyse Myers, and actors Alisha Boe and Carlicia Grant.
“We are committed to helping our community find their happy and prioritize positivity,” says Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of Aerie and AE, in the announcement. “We know that social media can have a negative impact, which is why we are creating a safe and happy space that fosters healthy conversations and cultivates a positive social scroll for our Aerie community.”
Aerie, which has also been an early adopter of TikTok challenges, says this iteration encourages people to “flood the feed with positivity.”
Using “Keepin’ It Real,” a song Ballerini wrote just for the brand, participants can upload a video, tagging it with positive Post-It style messages for friends.
The company is linking the campaign to its new Real Good collection, including the latest version of its best-selling Sunnie Bra, now made with recycled fibers. Of this season’s swim collection, 300 styles -- about 70% of the total -- are now made with sustainable fibers.
In 2014, the brand introduced #AerieREAL as one of the first major brands to commit to using only unretouched photos. It has also been an early advocate for size inclusivity.
Earlier this month, parent company AEO announced earnings, proving that it is still among top-performing mall retailers, with much of its business driven by the high-flying Aerie.
For its fiscal fourth quarter, revenue climbed 17% to $1.51 billion, compared to $1.29 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Aerie’s sales jumped 27%, rising to $428 million. And for its full year, the Pittsburgh-based company’s sales reached $5 billion for the first time.
Net income advanced 3.3% to $50.4 million.