American Eagle Tries to Stay Hip

Further blurring the line between entertainment and advertising, Variety is reporting that American Eagle Outfitters has launched "77E", an entertainment production arm that the clothing retailer plans to use to court young consumers.

This new entity will push American Eagle's products into various entertainment niches. They've already put together online "webisodes" to help generate interest in their clothing brand and will soon be extending this beyond their own website and into areas like television, movies and music.

Exec VP and Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savvit said that this move into the world of "branded entertainment" is designed to connect with the target 15-25 year old consumer base.

"It's an audience that is a voracious consumer of television, music and movies," Savitt said. "Content is so important to who they are and how they're living their life. They're so smart and discriminating. We need to make deposits into the cool jar."

So expect a bunch of 30 something ad-whores to start cranking out crap that they think the kids will want to nag their parents into buying for them. "Daddy, I HAVE to have that new $50 sweatshirt with the company's name on it in big letters that looks like its been worn for 30 years. Buy it for me or I will text message all my friends and tell them that you were mean to me."

"Branded Entertainment." In other words, product placement without the subtle hint.

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