Mediatization in Aerie


How media has become a central way in changing formations and doings of institutions.

With the rise in media in the past few decades, media has infiltrated any and all institution. From fashion to sports to medicine to politics, the existence in media has greatly affected the operations of most if not all organizations. As society is so dependent on media, whether it is television news or mobile apps, it has become a destination for information, entertainment and a platform to voice opinions. It has become almost impossible for any institution to not be affiliated with the media.

A prime example of mediatization is exhibited in the modeling industry. If we take a look at the business of modeling, it has been very much dominated by the historical standard of beauty: symmetrical features, above 5’8 at least, and thing enough to fit in sizes lower than the average size. Models like Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum rules the nineties and they were what the standard of being a supermodel was. This industry was never really put to the test until media became such a large part of society. No one ever questioned or protested the way models looked and the brands that hired them until platforms like Twitter and Instagram became just a boom.


(Gisele Bundchen in 90’s)

In 2014, American Eagle’s Aerie created a campaign to vow that they will never Photoshop their content again. This sparked from many the trend of society catching a lot of brands photo shopping their photos like Victoria’s Secret. There were thousands of call outs for brands making their models more thinner and almost unattainable by the normal consumer. Aerie’s movement stated they would use editing on their photos moving forward and even hired plus size models to represent their brand such as Barbie Ferreira and Iskra Lawrence. Their campaign was tied by the hashtag “#AerieReal”.


(Victoria’s Secret 2011 Catalog Photo Caught for PS, extremely thin legs)
Aerie Share Your Spark Campaign
Aerie Share Your Spark Campaign (PRNewsFoto/Aerie)
(#AerieREAL campaign)

This marketing tactic focused on showing and embracing the real you which received a great deal of positive feedback. Many consumers tweeted their support for the movement and according to Business Insider, “sales for the millennial lingerie and swim brand increased by 32 percent for the first fiscal quarter of 2016. These soaring numbers come directly on the heels of a 20 percent rise in comparable sales for the entire fiscal year of 2015.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 8.01.00 PM.png

Aerie’s campaign is a perfect example of how mediatization has changed the doings of a company. American Eagle completely shifted their brand ambassadors, marketing campaign and with the feedback from media platforms, have even benefitted in revenue.



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