Friday, December 15, 2023

Payless Successfully Markets Discount Shoes at Luxury Prices

Payless Successfully Markets Discount Shoes at Luxury Prices

Payless ShoeSource executed a clever marketing stunt by creating a fake luxury brand called Palessi, enticing fashion influencers to pay exorbitant markups of up to 1,800 percent for the retailer's shoes. The bargain store set up a temporary, high-end store in Los Angeles, featuring gold mannequins and a statue, and invited 60 influencers to its launch party. These fashion insiders, recruited from the street and social media, unknowingly paid prices ranging from $200 to $645 for shoes typically sold by Payless for $19.99 to $39.99.

Payless sold discount shoes at luxury prices — and it worked

The influencers praised the supposed luxury brand's design and quality, unaware that the shoes were from Payless. The elaborate prank aimed to challenge perceptions and remind consumers of Payless's combination of stylish relevance and affordability. The participants were later informed of the stunt, and while they received refunds, they were allowed to keep the shoes.

DCX Growth Accelerator, the advertising agency behind the campaign, strategically chose the name Palessi, playing on the cachet of Italian design. The campaign's goal was to bring Payless back to its roots of appealing to pragmatic American consumers, highlighting the contrast with elite fashion brand prices. The stunt underscores the power of branding in shaping perceived value and resonating with cultural codes, according to Doug Cameron, DCX Chief Creative Officer. The campaign, featuring stunned influencers, is set to air on cable networks throughout the holiday season.

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