In an elaborate social experiement, an American discount footwear brand tricked fashion influencers into paying hundreds of dollars for shoes that are normally priced anywhere between $20 to $50. Payless Shoesource pranked VIP shoppers as part of a viral advertising campaign designed to change consumers' perceptions of the brand, reports CBS News.
To do this, Payless took over a former Armani store in Santa Monica, California, renamed in Palessi and stocked it with their own discount footwear. Then they invited fashion influencers and VIP guests to shop for the heels, tennis shoes, sandals and more - all at inflated luxury rates of $200 to $600.
"Palessi" sold about $3,000 worth of shoes within a few hours at the Wednesday event, reports USA Today. However, as customers paid for their purchases, they were told that the shoes were actually from Payless.
Watch a video of the whole thing below:
The experiment garnered a huge response on social media, with the video collecting over 13,000 views in just 11 hours, along with a ton of amused comments. Many applauded the brand's innovative marketing campaign.
"Whoever's responsible for this marketing scheme needs a raise. Like right now," wrote one commenter on Facebook. "Just shows some people have more money than brains," laughed another. "There are people that seem to think the more you spend on an item, the better it is. I guess that's not true..." said a third.
Payless after homegirl left with them $650 shoes pic.twitter.com/4TfoCbONbj— X (@XLNB) November 30, 2018
“Palessi.” Literally the equivalent of the Payless logo wearing one of these: pic.twitter.com/AwF0cCQB8q— Shannon Miller (@Phunky_Brewster) November 29, 2018
What it shows is how shallow people are. Because payless is seen as a store for the lower class they don't want to shop there. But put the same shoe with a new name a BAM! GOT EM!— Ruby Robinson (@datprettygrl) November 29, 2018
And as for the people who were tricked into paying hugely inflated rates - their money was refunded to them and they left the event with free shoes for all their trouble!
Let us know what you think of this experiment using the comments section below.
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