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Payless praise: Social media influencers thought they bought Palessi

A mini-lane, lined with stiletto heels, shines in light rays. Shoes of different types fit nicely in individual glass sleeves.…

A mini-lane, lined with stiletto heels, shines in light rays. Shoes of different types fit nicely in individual glass sleeves. A statue of an angel carrying several bags stands in the middle like Los Angeles Fashionista’s mill, trying on shoes, posing on the red carpet, drinking champagne is served in long, slim 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 will be like,” where did you get them? They are amazing, “said a woman as she tried a pair of light gold sneakers with leopard pressure.

The woman actually did not buy a Palessi because there is no such brand, and there is no Bruno Palessi.

There are, however, Payless ShoeSource, a discount shopper who hopes to shake things through an elaborate and expensive advertising to attract new customers and change the perception that the company only sells cheap, unmanageable shoes.

“We felt like this campaign, it would be a great way to make many people consider Payless again and realize that it’s more than just a shoe store in the mall, “says Sarah Couch, Payless Chief Marketing Manager.

But the prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers can not criticize quality and the value of the things they buy, says Philip Graves, UK Consumer Assistance Consultant. Beat a European label on a $ 30 shoe and you have one Illusion about the status of people will pay an unreasonable amount of money for.

“The way we evaluate things is through associations. If you put wine in a nice bottle, people think more about it. If you pack things to see more prizes, people will like it more,” said Graves. If advertising has high production qualities, people will think it’s better. “

The campaign is the brainchild of a 10-person advertising company in Brooklyn. The DCX Growth Accelerator specializes in big media pranks, or what it calls” culture hacking. ” A few weeks ago, the company put its idea to Payless who had looked at an out-of-the-box advertising campaign before vacation time. DCX examined Payless’s early successes, why its speed had stopped and what it could do to help put the brand around, Doug Cameron said, who founded DCX 2015. Payless shuttered hundreds of stores and dismissed thousands of employees last year. [19659010] “We wanted to do something provocative. We would get paid back to the cultural discourse, “said Cameron.


A team of marketing, advertising and designers created a detailed prank to see how much people are willing to pay for shoes sold by Payless ShoeSource – but it is disguised under a fake luxury brand named Palessi. (Andrew Sanchez)

First, the team needed a place for the fake launch and found what they thought was the perfect one: a former Giorgio Armani store at Santa Monica Place, an exclusive shopping mall that houses stores such as Louis Vuitton, Barneys, Michael Cross and Tiffany & Co. The team rented the space for six days.

Secondly, they needed a name and they wanted something that sounded like Payless. Among the first ideas was an exclusive hipster Brooklyn-based store that they would call Eli Pass. But the team eventually hit an Italian theme. The relocated letters of Eli Pass came to Palessi.

“I think Bruno came later,” Cameron said about the fictional designer’s name.

They employed an interior designer to help them create an authentic and luxurious look for the launch party, as well as people who would constitute sales staff. They brought in gold mannequins, hung white paper bags and installed the big-winged angel statue in the middle. To drive things a little further without revealing jokes, Cameron said they rolled in gold-painted lions and giraffe lists.

The team said they kept most of what’s already in the store, like the glass bowls, where they nicely arranged varieties of stilettos, pumps, sneakers, boots and leather shoes. They covered the original brand labels with stickers saying “PALESSI” in plain black fonts and beat price tags as high as $ 1,800.

The team also created an Instagram account and started crossing it with idle and random images of models and stilettes. They bought and created a website, which is mostly empty apart from the pictures of two stylets on mannequin hands.

Finally, they needed potential consumers. Cameron calls it “real persongjutning”. They reviewed the streets and the Internet for social media as influences, modern people who look as if they will participate in this kind of event.

“The way we hit it is it’s a new store, a brand new and the owner is looking for some feedback,” said Cameron.


Payless launches a private launch party for a new brand of luxury shoes, Palessi. No such brand exists , and Payless surprised guests after informing them that the shoes came from Payless. (Payless Shoesource)

On the day of launch, October 27th, no disturbing participants arrived. The DCX and Payless team used the back of the deal as one control room of varieties equipped with monitors connected to camcorders When people came up, paid interviewers and cameramen asked what they thought about the shoes and how much they would pay for them. Cameron and his team were on the back and dictated the questions through microphones.

“Palessi is just so high-quality, proud and takes your game to the next level,” says a man wearing nailed necklace and holding a high-pitched knee-high start. “It looks very good. “

” It’s just amazing. Elegant, sophisticated and versatile, “said a woman, because she has a pair of floral stiletto heels.

” For me to experience this as an Italian designer, it’s amazing, “said another man with an accent.

After a participant bought for expensive shoes – a part of $ 200, $ 400 and $ 600 – they were taken to the backroom where the prank was revealed.

“You have to cheat me,” said the woman who had gusted the flower handsome heels, her eyes wide

The team said that those who bought the shoes were allowed to keep them free.

Cat Chang, a diamond designer in Los Angeles, was among the no-feared fashionists. She said she did not buy shoes because she had already bought a lot of couples a few days earlier. But she would have if she had found a pair of her size.

“We would never have anything onsin known. We were really convinced, said Chang, who said she was paid to attend the event. “They had us cheated, as completely.”

Chang said the experience made her contemplated Payless, and she plans to visit a store soon.

Graves, Consumer Administration Consultant from Britain, said the advertising campaign will have some short-term benefits for Payless, but he does not think it will hurt established luxury brands.

“Consumers have paid tremendously inflated prices,” he said. “Some of the pleasures we get from things we buy come from the money we spent on them.”

He also does not believe the elaborate prank, as Payless described as a “multimillion dollar integrated marketing campaign” has a lasting impact on the dealer’s brand.

“The next time someone enters a Payless store, they should go into the normal, inept environment, see the usual Payless Prize,” he said – not the elegant, glamorous red carpet store in Los Angeles.

Sofa, Payless Chief Marketing Manager, hope Graves is wrong. She said there is more to pay without physical stores.

“The shopping experience at payless.com differs from the store … It’s the fastest growing part of the business,” she said. “The stores are an incredibly valuable part of the business, but the digital side is the focus of the campaign.”

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