Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

American Eagle – The power of social media

 As you know by now I have been volunteering my time for a Movement by the name of MOvember for some time now. The charity is focussed on finding a cure for prostate cancer and changing the face of men’s health.  This Blog involves MOvember, but also involves a large US retailer who did the right thing once an issue was brought to their attention through social media.

 Last year the MOvember campaign had been using a cool promotional t-shirt to raise awareness of the MO and their MOvement. As they moved into 2010 they had just finished printing off a new colour version of the same t-shirt when someone forwarded an almost identical t-shirt that was being offered for sale by American Eagle. Wow, numerous people had looked at the t-shirts and everyone felt that it was just too close to be a coincidence.  So what happened next?

 Well, MoBros and Sistas began to get at it. They began to tweet, they began to Facebook and they began to raise the awareness of this situation to those who were listening…and to American Eagle. A Facebook page was started up which eventually had 53 comments in 24 hours about the situation and numerous tweets were made about the topic on Twitter. Most of the comments on both social media sites focussed on the large retailer potentially copying a charity t-shirt and asking for a response, explanation and some type of adjustment to their plan. A couple of the comments appeared to come from PR professionals who encouraged American Eagle to do the right thing or the negative consumer message could do the brand damage it quick order.

 Well, I am happy to report that things worked out to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. American Eagle contacted MOvember and apologised for any unintended similarities and at the same time offered a $5,000 donation and committed to running a MO MOvement in their own office for this year’s campaign.

 What a great response by American Eagle. Not only did they deal with the original issue, but they actually took it to the next level and offered their personal support for the Movement. Taken to the next level, I am now spreading the word about their positive efforts and will make every effort to visit one of their stores as a sign of support for a company that made the right decision. Like your style American Eagle.

 What a great example of the power of social media, both positive and negative, when put to causes that are relevant to the consumer. People ARE  listening and unlike the old Pert commercials which boasted “if you tell 2 people and so on…”, today you can multiply that by a thousand and your numbers are probably closer.

 Cheers,
Pete