American Eagle Outfitters, the retailer that sells jeans, T-shirts and hoodies for the 15- to-25-year-old set, has been at the forefront of the trend toward advertainment, in which companies make videos to engross viewers while glamorizing a particular brand.
Last summer, on its Web site, ae.com, American Eagle introduced a dedicated media channel called 77e, which plays music and videos. The idea was to make visitors intrigued enough by what they saw to entice them to click further and buy clothes. Much of the content on the channel has been commissioned specifically as entertainment and used the American Eagle brand almost incidentally.
Last year, American Eagle twice engaged a popular young actor, Milo Ventimiglia from the NBC television series "Heroes," to make a series of Webisodes intended for either television or the Internet. The first mini-series, "It's a Mall World," was shown during a prime advertising segment on "Real World: Sydney" on MTV.