American Eagle Outfitters has an unusual sense of humor.
On Friday, the retailer said its #AerieMan video, released last week, was a parody.
American Eagle used the exaggerated campaign to reveal that it would end retouching men’s in its underwear and swim campaigns by the 2016 holiday season and donate $25,000 to the National Eating Disorders Association, a nonprofit that supports those affected by eating disorders.
There was something peculiar about the campaign — the hip-thrusting seemed off-brand — but because the message wasn’t too far from American Eagle’s existing marketing strategies, it came across as funny but plausible.
Now the retailer is saying it was a parody, not a prank, and some aspects of the campaign were “all in fun.”
The retailer released this statement on its Web site Friday: “That bubble bath. Those yoga poses. Devon’s dancing. It’s safe to say some aspects of #AerieMan were just for laughs. But body positivity for girls and guys? That’s something we take very seriously.”
The confusing move elicited backlash on Twitter:
The retailer didn’t respond to a request to comment on the backlash. Meanwhile, the new men’s underwear line is, in fact, real. Maybe….