Shoppers soon able to buy 15 seconds of fame
Buying a pair of underwear could be your ticket to fame.
Shoppers at the new American Eagle Outfitters at Broadway and 46th Street store will soon get the chance to see their face light up a giant Times Square billboard in a marketing ploy expected to bait the social-networking set.
Starting Nov. 19, all customers of the flagship store are eligible to have their photo snapped, write a 50-character message and post their name and hometown. The image will be broadcasted for 15 seconds on a 25-story LCD panel moments after they leave.
Images will be groomed for appropriate attire and any offensive statements will be edited out, said Jani Strand, a company spokeswoman. There is no minimum purchase and shoppers can participate as many times as they wish during store hours, she said.
“It’s great. Everyone keeps on taking it up a notch,” said Tim Tompkins, president of Times Square Alliance.
About 500,000 people walk through Times Square a day, Tompkins added.
The novel gimmick could reel in the generation weaned on Facebook and American Idol, marketing experts said.
“I don’t think older people would want this promotion, but it’s clever for the target market,” said John Tantillo, a psychologist and marketing consultant.
The clothing company dreamed up the idea when they saw hordes of tourists snapping photos of themselves in Times Square. The billboard faces Broadway and is directly in front of the 25,000-square-foot store.
(Image courtesy American Eagle Outfitters)