PITTSBURGH — The Twitter-sphere started yipping on Monday after American Eagle Outfitters put out an official news release announcing “American Beagle Outfitters, The Brand’s First-Ever Clothing Line For Man’s Best Friend.”
“You & your pup can be preppy twinsies,” tweeted Heather J. McCloskey.
“AE has a new line for dogs called American Beagle Outfitters?? This can’t be real life,” offered Crystal Sivert.
“Someone please tell me this is a joke,” deadpanned Lacey Lansdale in her tweet.
A spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based teen clothing retailer declined to give the reassurance that Ms. Lansdale sought, adding that no one would be available to talk for a few of days. But then, it takes time to let a viral reaction develop — and to get a little closer to April Fools’ Day.
Last year, about this time, American Eagle pranked its fans with the introduction of a new “skinny skinny jean” that was really just models who had their legs painted. Within a few days, the company’s YouTube video for the promotion had picked up more than 360,000 views.
By Monday afternoon, a “dogumentary” posted to promote the new American Beagle line had been seen more than 3,000 times on YouTube.
The behind-the-scenes video — which shows dogs playing and posing at American Eagle headquarters — explains the tragedy in the choices of clothing styles now offered for canines at the mall and aims for the big time: “I think American Beagle is going to be huge. I see Milan. I see Paris,” says one woman.
Commentors on You-Tube were almost unanimous in seeing the campaign as a joke, which doesn’t mean they wouldn’t take advantage of the offer to, “Take 20 percent off your purchase of three items or more and help us donate up to $100,000 to ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).”
One dollar from each order would go to the nonprofit.
Having a little fun can be good marketing for brands that want to connect with a young, social-media-savvy audience.
The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Teresa F. Lindeman is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2018.