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Posts Tagged ‘American Apparel’

American Apparel Mistakes Challenger Explosion for Fireworks

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The home of “smediums” and tasteless advertising should just reconsider talking to the public

While you were stumbling between the cooler full of adult beverages and your lawn chair, something pretty awful and all-the-more stupid happened — American Apparel posted a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding.

WHY?! It was placed (and long since deleted) on the corporate Tumblr account accompanied by the hashtags #smoke and #clouds because July 4 pictures are a thing. More about that decision after the jump…

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2014′s 10 Least Engaging Brands

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Who’s having a great 2014 so far? Airbnb, Snapchat and even—dare we say it—Facebook are doing pretty well. But what about the other side of the brand equation?

Customer loyalty consultancy Brand Keys and reporter Truman Lewis of Consumer Affairs recently published a list of 2014′s least engaging brands, which we reviewed to try and figure out why these companies are having a bad year.

Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says the market itself often provides the best evidence of consumers’ brand assessments, and these brands’ recent performances just don’t measure up.

The bottom ten, from worst to least bad, after the jump.

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American Apparel Features Mannequins with Grooming Issues

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So, um? Yeah.

Welcome to the newest trend in fashion — ‘real’ mannequins in need of a Brazilian wax. STAT! American Apparel believes this should be a trend in fashion — real women.

While I agree that silicon and other sundry injections have ruined a healthy image of what a woman should be, this real woman is only fashionable in the Amazon (because trimming with a buck knife could nick a little), the Arctic (because a girl needs to stay warm) and possibly Amish communities (because advertising doesn’t get there much).

And this isn’t the first time American Apparel has gone crazy in advertising and marketing.

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Garment Industry Opts for Makeover After Bangladesh Disaster

The factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh this April is by no means the first tragedy to strike the garment industry in recent years—but it does look like the culmination of an ongoing PR challenge that could reshape the way major clothing brands market their products. The earliest evidence of this change comes on social media, where companies that had operations in the factory have already begun responding to the demands of consumers and labor activists.

The New York Times reports that many businesses and industry groups now plan to follow the food industry’s example by offering the public more detailed information about how and where their clothes are made. H&M and Zara have agreed to sign a new “factory safety accord,” and major names like Disney, Nike, and Walmart may follow with campaigns designed to appropriate the “green,” “organic,” and “fair trade” themes favored by food and household goods marketers in recent years. The purpose of this material, of course, will be to highlight the brands’ corporate social responsibility efforts and distance them from horrific accidents like the one in Bangladesh.

It’s nothing new for fashion: upstarts like American Apparel began using their own “fair trade” practices as key selling points some time ago. Yet, despite AA’s success, retailers like Maggie’s Organics and Everlane (tagline “Luxury Basics. Radical Transparency.”) remain few and far between.

Not for long.

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Brazilian Retailer Uses Robbery Footage in Ad Campaign

File this one under “Making the most of an awful experience”: thieves broke into Brazilian menswear retailer Reserva in December and made off with approximately $20,000 in merchandise, leaving the store in a bind right before the crucial Christmas season.

But Reserva’s manager chose an interesting way to ensure that he has the last laugh: he created an ad campaign based on security camera footage of the robbery in action. It’s certainly memorable–and as he puts it, “They stole my clothes and we stole their image.”

The spot reminds viewers that they “don’t need to break the store window” to check out the latest sale but that they should still hurry up, because “there are people doing crazy things for Reserva.”

A quick glance at the brand’s site reveals a young, American Apparel-like sensibility–so we think the company’s target audience will eat this campaign up. We appreciate the heavy metal soundtrack and the decision to highlight each class of inventory (jeans, shorts, etc.) as the robbers make off with it.

Slow clap.

PR Fail: American Apparel’s ‘Hurricane Sandy Sale’

The hipster dud makers and serial perverts who run American Apparel are no strangers to controversy and bad PR–the company’s former rep recently published a cute book titled “Trust Me, I’m Lying”, and his thesis seems to be that bloggers, reporters and other media personalities are just as dishonest as he is.

The company made another dubious promotional decision yesterday by advertising a 20% off “Hurricane Sandy Sale” for email subscribers living in areas affected by the storm. The message encouraged customers to stop by local branches “in case you’re bored” so they can save a couple of bucks on cheap, LA-made t-shirts guaranteed to fray at the seams within six months.

This characteristically insensitive email blast inspired a stream of outrage on Twitter, with many users promising to boycott the chain and its silver leggings once and for all.

But will this stunt really hurt the company’s reputation–or its sales numbers? We somehow doubt it.

We can’t expect much in the way of respectable behavior from American Apparel, which has grown into a big brand by creating a series of NSFW ads that feature everything from grandmas in tights to bottomless porn stars while brazenly dancing along the line between clever and creepy. And we just don’t think this newest spat of negative publicity and online outrage will do much to damage what has proven to be a very resilient business. If CEO Dov Charney has his way, AA could even manage to escape nine straight quarters of losses and multiple bankruptcy scares to become a profitable company again.

But mark our words: getting out of the red won’t make American Apparel any less sleazy.

Russian Punks Headed for Jail after Winning the Week

Yes, it’s true that a Russian “court” sentenced all three members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison today on hilariously trumped-up charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” (yeah, OK…), but we feel like they won the news cycle in their own way.

For one thing, very few people outside of Russia–and only a few more within it–had any interest in the group before this story broke a few weeks ago (and based on their music, we can see why), but their unfortunate name is now common knowledge in news rooms and living rooms around the globe.

Large-scale protests among the country’s cultural and intellectual elite couldn’t stop Vladamir Putin from reclaiming the presidency in a fairly blatant show of vote-fixing earlier this year, but these three ladies knew how to win the attention of both the government and the outside world: A couple of weeks before the election, they staged what can only be described as a publicity stunt in a Moscow Catholic church, dancing around in hoods that look like they came from American Apparel‘s fall line and chanting a song whose lyrics demand that the Virgin Mary “Drive away Putin.”

Sure, the move alienated some older, more traditional members of the body politic, but the way we see it, the whole ordeal was a big PR win for the band and its ideological allies…and a major loss for the Putin government. Read more

More Threads Unravel For American Apparel: Employee Found Dead

american apparel.jpg American Apparel employee Danarichie Lyndon Sindo was found dead in a fifth-floor restroom yesterday, Gawker reports. The 44-year-old Philippines native’s death is the latest bad news to hit American Apparel, adding to what Gawker calls the company’s “ever-growing list of public relations woes.”

The company has a lot on its hands besides fashion these days. Among its other current woes: recent talk of its possible delisting, shareholder lawsuits, and rumors it’s nearing bankruptcy. That’s not to mention the fact the company has the Los Angeles Times quoting Howard Davidowitz, chairman of national retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates Inc. as saying it’s operating like a “madhouse.”

What this means for the once-king of hipster hoodies and sultry billboards is yet uncertain. ConsumerAffairs.Com reminds us that “not long ago” it was “the undisputed king of hipster cool, churning out simple, understated v-neck shirts and leggings while growing at a breakneck pace.”

[Image via American Apparel website]