Aerie’s ‘Real’ campaign challenges retail industry

In the world of fashion, models are perceived to be statuesque and perfect, but Aerie decided to throw that image away for its Spring 2014 marketing campaign.

Instead of retouching models to hide their pimples, tattoos or other "imperfections," the sister company to American Eagle Outfitters that sells lingerie to 15-21 year olds decided it was time to realistically portray their models, AdWeek reported.

"The girls you see in the ads are what they look like in real life, which is, sadly, groundbreaking," AdWeek contributor Roo Ciambriello wrote. "The models are wearing makeup, they look healthy, the poses are flattering, and the lighting is perfect."

To take it a step further, the website decided to get rid of the one-size-fit-all model and replaced them with women that fit their products. This way, customers who are purchasing items online have a better idea of what it would look like on them because a person with a similar body shape is modeling it.

Now, over 100 Aerie retailers in the United States will have window graphics with female models who may look similar to their targeted audience. This may be a bold movie on Aerie's part, but it may be the hook that attracts teenagers and mothers to their store, beating competitor's like Victoria Secret's Pink collection, which also tailors to the same 15-21 age group.

This marketing campaign also included a banner written in letter form, perhaps as a way to appear personable, empathetic to their targeted audience. 

"We think it's time to GET REAL and THINK REAL," one of Aerie's Spring 2014 banner reads. "We want every girl to feel good about who they are and what they look like, inside and out."

It may seem cliché to release a statement in the form of a letter, but it may have worked in Aerie's favor here.