- American Eagle created a collection of clothing embedded with QR codes that activated donations for Giving Tuesday, the charitable movement launched in response to the consumerism of the holiday season. The teen retailer is donating 100% of the sales from the AExME Council collection to Delivering Good, a nonprofit that helps homeless people, according to a company announcement.
- During the holiday season, shoppers can donate at checkout to Delivering Good when they buy items from the collection. Select items have a QR code that people can scan with a smartphone to be redirected to Delivering Good's donation website.
- American Eagle this year formed the AExME Council with a group of Generation Zers who are active in causes such as LGBTQ pride, mental health, sustainability, charitable giving and voter participation. Its members include Delaney Tarr, a co-founder of the March for Our Lives movement to end gun violence, and Gabby Frost, who created the Buddy Project to prevent suicide and promote mental health.
By embedding clothing with QR codes that link to a charitable giving website, American Eagle can extend the reach of its cause-driven campaign beyond its digital checkout. QR codes are making a comeback as more smartphones come equipped with readers that don't require a separate app download, easing friction and encouraging more people to interact with the scannable icons.
Brands such as Chick-fil-A and Blackrock Bar & Grill have included QR codes in recent campaigns to provide greater interactivity with smartphone users, but American Eagle adds a new twist by using the technology to support charitable giving during the busy holiday shopping season.
With its AExME Council collection, American Eagle aims to appeal to young consumers who not only are heavy smartphone users, but also want to associate themselves with socially conscious brands. Gen Zers tend to feel connected to important causes, and more than two-thirds of the age group think brands should help them achieve those goals, PSFK research revealed. Cause-driven messages are often well received by Gen Z and millennials and can help to separate brands from rivals while boosting longer-term loyalty that can translate to future sales.
American Eagle is among the fashion brands that have launched cause-driven campaigns that rely on smartphones to interact with target consumers. Athletic apparel brand Adidas last month hosted a gamified augmented reality experience at its flagship store in Paris to highlight environmental sustainability. Last summer, Saucony debuted a social media campaign called "Run for Good" to raise money for charity while urging Instagram users to participate in an athletic challenge.