Attention, Mall Rats

Apparel retailer American Eagle is diving into the branded content arena with “It’s a Mall World,” a digital comedy series that centers on the lives of a group of teens who work at a mall, including a girl who is employed at — where else? — American Eagle. Directed by Milo Ventimiglia of “Heroes” fame and starring up-and-coming young actors, including Dianna Agron, Sam Huntington and Deon Richmond, the 12 three-minute “It’s a Mall World” minisodes will replace the first commercial break during each installment of MTV’s “The Real World: Sydney,” which premieres in August.

While MTV has partnered with advertisers on branded content projects in the past, this effort with American Eagle marks the most extensive collaboration to date, says John Shea, MTV’s executive vice president of integrated marketing and brand partnerships.

In addition to running “It’s a Mall World” minisodes during “The Real World,” (which has a 12- to 22-year-old audience that dovetails with American Eagle’s target demographic) MTV will provide a behind- the-scenes feature on the making of “It’s a Mall World” on

The minisodes also will be shown in American Eagle stores after the TV premiere and extended versions will run on American Eagle’s Shea is confident “Real World” fans will get hooked on “Mall World.” “[It’s] a scripted story, but it has very ‘Real World’ characters — people who are relatable.”

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