Last week we published a story about a line of clothing for dogs by American Eagle Outfitters, and we all had a good laugh over it. The company was calling it American Beagle Outfitters, ha ha, and it was going all in, creating the “first-ever matching clothing line for dogs and their owners.”
“Designed to perfectly match their owner’s on-trend American Eagle wardrobe,” the company deadpanned, “the canine collection features must-haves such as slimming doggy jeggings, fur-friendly bikinis and statement accessories, creating head-to-tail looks that complement the unique style and personality of every pooch, big or small.”
So funny. They were kidding, right? Had to be. April Fools’ Day, and the like. So funny.
So when April Fools’ Day finally came around and we started laughing over all the other dog pranks and cat pranks on the Web, there was American Eagle over in the corner, clearing its throat, saying excuse us, remember us? We weren’t kidding at all.
Yes, it was no joke: American Beagle Outfitters is real. It’s coming. Or, rather, a modified version of it. You see, the outpouring of support for the endeavor was so great, American Eagle decided it had to go through with it. A line is expected to hit stores by the holidays.
“We originally felt that April Fools’ Day was the perfect opportunity for us to engage with our consumers in a fun, lighthearted way, all while supporting the ASPCA,” said Michael Leedy, chief marketing officer of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. “Due to the tremendous positive response and excitement from our customers for the American Beagle Outfitters line, we decided to make a limited edition collection for Holiday 2014.”
That “positive repsonse” was not just delighted squees from the Internet, but rather solid evidence of consumer interest. For the joke campaign, American Eagle asked people to sign up for the waitlist for a first look at the line, and in doing so receive 20 percent off American Eagle purchases with $1 per order benefitting the ASPCA.
A lot of people quickly signed up, and American Eagle soon found itself donating $100,000 to the ASPCA.
But that’s not to say all the social media action and positive articles didn’t help. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, at some point after the March 24 launch, vice president of brand management Bob Holobinko said the American Eagle team took a look at all the buzz and decided, “We’ve got to do this for real.”
And they’d seen signs earlier that their idea was a huge hit. After staff hatched the idea, it quickly spread throughout company headquarters.
“Before you knew it, the whole building was buzzing,” Holobinko said.
Although the pieces will probably be different from those created for the prank, the company plans to make them “closely tied to styles available for humans in the company’s stores.” They’ll cost $25 to $30.
Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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