Aerie hasn’t retouched photos for its ads since 2014 — an effort that’s helped the brand generate headlines and stand out among its competition as it shows what people really look like while wearing their products. The company is continuing to do so with its advertising efforts this fall, touting user-generated content as social media and influencer marketing takes up more ad dollars for the brand. 

“Paid social and influencers are the biggest slice of the pie,” said Stacey McCormick, vp of marketing for Aerie, adding that the brand has invested in UGC as the brand’s community and customers “respond to that most.” The company increased spending over the past two years so the brand could do more “native, fun activations using talent, creatives, influencers and our internal teams.” Even so, the company does “like to keep OOH in the mix for us to splash into a market.”

Aside from paid social and influencer marketing, Aerie uses digital display and streaming to show up where their customers are spending their time and boost brand awareness.

The brand is also experimenting with live shopping on its own channels with live shopping streams featuring guest stars, celebrity stylists and brand associates to showcase the brand’s products. That effort doesn’t use paid advertising as Aerie is treating it lik
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