March 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM ET
American Eagle Outfitters shows its cheeky side in a video ad for a new pair of skinny jeans so tight, they’re practically sprayed on.
That’s because they are.
It takes a brave person to wear the AEO Skinny Skinny, hawked in a 30-second faux ad going viral. The video features young people expressing ways to emphasize their creativity and individuality – and their preference for jeans that feel like almost nothing.
The video contains a link to American Eagle’s website, where limited edition cans of the spray on jeans are sold for $49.95 each. (They’re available in “indigo” or “bright” wash.)
But snap! Try adding the cans to your shopping bag and you get the following pop-up message:
“Sorry! The AEO Skinny Skinny is temporarily sold out. Enter your email below and we’ll let you know when the Skinny Skinny is back in stock!”
For the record, Skinny Skinny spray-on jeans don’t exist, said Bob Holobinko, vice president of brand marketing for American Eagle.
"We are not selling it, just to be clear,” he clarified Friday on TODAY, as two models showed off the "jeans." The brave pair were painted for the appearance in conjunction with CollegeHumor.com.
“We just wanted to have fun, and have fun with our fans,” he said. “And it was a good opportunity to kind of push it from a brand standpoint and the response has been incredible.”
The YouTube video has generated more than 348,000 views so far.
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In the ad, one young man says, “I like skinny jeans. Sometimes they’re not skinny enough.” He is then shown skateboarding wearing a jacket and nothing below but some dark blue spray paint.
A woman declares, “I love really skinny jeans,” before the camera shows a tight shot of her "Avatar"-blue derriere.
Peter Shankman, an independent marketing consultant, called the campaign “brilliant.” Although people watching the ad knows the product is fake, it still draws them to the retailer’s website.
“Let’s be honest, when was the last time you heard about a good American Eagle ad?” he said. “It was a while ago. So this is phenomenal. A great way to bust out from the mainstream. People are talking about it.”
Holobinko said the video is the first installment of a campaign they consider “a journey.” A second release will be issued next week and people who enter their email on the “Skinny Skinny” site will get additional information.
“So for all of our customers that have come along with us, there’s going to be a really great reveal at the very end,” he said.
Although some may consider the commercial daring, Holobinko said they were very careful putting the final product together.
“We knew we were putting ourselves out there, I think that was the goal,” he said. “But even through the edit and through the filtering process we had to be cautious of what we were showing. But we think we landed in a good spot.”