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“They Hesitated”: Inside Payless “Prank Prompted to Suffer People to Pay $ 600 for Shoes | Company

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? It’s amazing, “says a woman she tried on a pair of light yellow 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 &#821

1; a discount shoe shopper 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 would be a great way to make many people consider Payless again, and to 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 understand the quality and value of the things they buy, “says Philip Graves, UK Consumer Counseling Consultant. Slap a European label on a $ 30 shoe and you Have an illusion of status as 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 like it more. If you pack things to see more prizes, people will enjoy it more,” said Graves. “About 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 released its idea to Payless, who had looked at an out-of-the-box advertising campaign before the holiday. 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. Betalafri ended hundreds of stores and dismissed thousands of employees last year. [19659003] “We wanted to do something provocative. We wanted to get back to the cultural discourse free of charge, “said Cameron.

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 malls that hold stores like Louis Vuitton, Barneys, Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co. The team rented the space for six weeks.

Secondly, they needed a name and they wanted something that sounded like Payless. Among the first ideas were an exclusive hipster Brooklyn-based store that they would call Eli Pass, but eventually the team hit an Italian theme. They relocated the letters of Eli Pass and arrived at Palessi.

“I think Bruno came later,” said Cameron 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, in which they arranged nice varieties of stilettos, pumps, sneakers, boots and leather shoes. They covered the original brand labels with stickers saying “PALESSI” in plain black fonts, which 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.

Then they finally needed potential consumers. Cameron calls it “real persongjutning”. The reviewed streets and the Internet for social media influences fashionable people who look likely to participate in this kind of event.

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

On the launch date of October 27th, there were no bad participants outside. The DCX and Payless team used the back of the store as a control room of varieties, equipped with monitors connected to camcorders. When people came up, interviewers and camerans 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 necklaces and holding a high altitude knee head 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 participants bought exaggerated shoes – a part of $ 200, $ 400 and $ 600 – they took in the backroom, where the prank was revealed.

“You must be joking,” said the woman who had vomited the pair of floral stiletto heels, her eyes wide as she stared down on the exaggerated shoes in her hands.

The team said that those who bought shoes got them to keep them free.

Cat Chang, a diamond designer in Los Angeles, was among the no-fearing 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 found a pair of her size.

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

Chang said the experience made her 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 the things we buy come from the money we spent on them. “

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

“Next time someone enters a Payless store, they should enter the usual, inept environment, see the usual Payless Prize,” he said – not the e leganta, 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.

“Shopping experience on differs from the store … It’s the fastest growing part of the business,” she said. “The stores are an extremely valuable part of the business, but the digital side is the focus of the campaign.”

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