PAYLESS OPENED A FAKE LUXURY STORE AND TRICKED SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS INTO PAYING $600 FOR $20 SHOES

Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for.

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PAYLESS OPENED A FAKE LUXURY STORE, ‘PALESSI,’ TO SEE HOW MUCH PEOPLE WOULD PAY FOR $20 SHOES … THE ANSWER? A HELL OF A LOT
If you serve fast food on white tablecloths in a tony-looking restaurant, people sometimes think it’s haute cuisine. (At the very least, it tastes a lot different than it does when you’re scarfing it down from a drive-through bag).

It turns out you can do the same for bargain kicks by showcasing the footwear against the kind of chic backdrop usually reserved for luxury labels like Jimmy Choo and getting people to pay outrageous markups.

That’s what Payless did recently in Santa Monica, taking over a former Armani store and stocking it with $19.99 pumps and $39.99 boots. The chain, via agency DCX Growth Accelerator, invited groups of influencers to the grand opening of “Palessi” and asked their opinions on the “designer” wares.

Party goers, having no idea they were looking at discount staples from the mall scene, said they’d pay hundreds of dollars for the stylish shoes, praising the look, materials and workmanship. Top offer: $640, which translates to an 1,800 percent markup, and Palessi sold about $3,000 worth of product in the first few hours of the stunt.

Payless, or “Palessi,” did ring up those purchases but didn’t keep the money. Influencers got their cash back, along with free shoes. Their reactions caught in the short- and longer-form ads—those shocked “gotcha” moments—are fairly priceless.  READ MORE


‘THEY HAD US FOOLED’: INSIDE PAYLESS’S ELABORATE PRANK TO DUPE PEOPLE INTO PAYING $600 FOR SHOES

A mini-runway, lined with stiletto heels, glistens in bright fluorescent lighting. Shoes of various types sit neatly in individual glass shelves. A statue of an angel carrying several shopping bags stands in the middle as Los Angeles fashionistas mill about, trying on shoes, posing on the red carpet, drinking champagne served in tall, slender glasses.

It was a private launch party of a new luxury brand of shoes called Palessi, designed by Italian designer Bruno Palessi.

“I would pay $400, $500. People are going to be like, ‘Where did you get those? Those are amazing,’ ” a woman said as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers with leopard prints.  READ MORE


PAYLESS BOOSTS VALUE OF PRODUCTS WITH BRILLIANT ‘PALESSI’ STUNT
When you’re a value brand, you typically focus on only one side of the value equation: price. The name “Payless” clearly focuses on the price side of value, but the brand did a smart thing. They recently tricked a roomful of hipsters into thinking their “value priced” product was worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Watch this, called “The Payless Experiment”:

And watch this :15 take-down with and individual reaction.

There are others, but you get the idea.

How do you make lower prices even more valuable?

Payless has done ads, and will do ads in the future I suspect, talking about their great styles at low prices. And, while the consumer may believe the prices part, they may not believe that the styles are all that great. At least from an ad.  READ MORE


PAYLESS TRICKS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS INTO PAYING $600 FOR $20 SHOES

What’s in a name? Masquerading under the bogus label “Palessi,” the budget shoe company Payless tricked social media influencers in Los Angeles into paying as much as US$640 for their footwear in an elaborate publicity stunt.

Payless ShoeSource recently set up a fake luxury pop-up shop in a former Armani store along the upscale Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. The affordable shoe company then invited social media influencers to a ritzy two-day “grand opening” for Palessi.

With the cameras rolling, the “fashionistas” were asked about their first impressions of Palessi’s shoes.

“They’re elegant, sophisticated,” one woman gushed …. READ MORE


PAYLESS DOESN’T NEED TO TRICK BARGAIN-HUNTING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH FAUX-LUXURY HOAXES
Rude marketing stunts like “Palessi” are totally missing the point.

If you have been to or walked past a Payless ShoeSource, you know it has roughly the aesthetics of an optometrist’s office. It also has the smell and carpeting of a LensCrafters, and for whatever reason, in 2006, changed its logo from a funky orange-black-yellow bubble letter situation (gorgeous!) to an orange-and-pale-blue ‘90s robo-font. Like a computer manual.

Payless ShoeSource, of course, sells affordable shoes, carrying brands like Champion, Airwalk, SmartFit, and Dexter, as well as lower price-point Payless-exclusive versions of American Eagle and Christian Siriano brands. It is not cool, and that’s just the way it is, but it did popularize the concept of “buy one, get one free” during its peak in the ’90s, and so it holds a place in the hearts of suburban moms and young professionals everywhere.  READ MORE


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