Los Angeles: American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is banking on a heavy Sundance Film Festival presence to help boost its brand among the cognoscenti attending the ongoing event.
Sundance, held annually since 1991 in Park City, UT, has become a showcase for brands as much as independent films. This year's festival began last Thursday and will run until January 28.
AEO's efforts include two main components to highlight two brands, American Eagle and Aerie, a dorm-and-intimates line, throughout the festival, according to Kathy Savitt, EVP and CMO at the company.
American Eagle was scheduled to host an "AE White Out Party," featuring a performance by actor-singer Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto plays John Lennon's murderer Mark David Chapman in the film Chapter 27, which was set to open at Sundance last week.
AEO will also be very active at the Village at the Lift, which, for the past five years, has served as one of the festival's major VIP hubs - and an axis for brand interaction.
Village at the Lift is the creation of PR firm BNC (Bragman Nyman Cafarelli) - in partnership with Fred Segal Beauty, Best Events, and various Park City developers. The Village at the Lift is located at the town's landmark Lift center.
BNC president Chris Robichaud said the Village is meant to attract corporate sponsors, influencers, and media, and be a place to share resources and foster creativity.
AEO will maintain an Aerie-branded spa which would offer pampering treatments and an adjacent gifting lounge for invited guests.
Working in tandem with BNC, Rubenstein Communications, and United Talent Agency, AEO created "an experience [designed] to reach stylists, trendsetters, celebrities, and film-industry folks" with its brand message, said Savitt.
Having a home base provides firms an opportunity to showcase clients. For example, 5W PR has also created a presence during the festival to showcase Evian and Budweiser Select, among others.
"Sundance has evolved from being just an independent film festival to really a pop-culture event," Savitt said. "It's also a place where trends are really watched and set."