Affordable shoe brand Payless proved that some fashion influencers can’t tell the difference between high-end luxury shoes and the discount chain’s own footwear.
Payless’ viral experiment has caused some fashionistas to question whether they are being duped by so-called ‘luxury brands.’ The footwear chain hosted a pop-up shop for a phony high-end footwear boutique named ‘Palessi.’ The brand invited over 80 influencers to attend the two-day event. None of the influencers had any knowledge of ‘Palessi’s’ affiliation with Payless and the results were remarkable.
Multiple fashion influencers were caught on camera sharing their thoughts on the ‘Palessi/Payless’ shoes.
“They’re elegant, sophisticated,” noted one woman. Another woman in a shimmering silver gown called another pair of shoes, “so classy.” Other influencers remarked that they could tell the shoes were made with high-quality material. Although the influencers were paid a nominal fee for their appearance at the event, they shelled out way more than they received for shoes that are available for purchase on Payless’ website for less than $20.
“These fashionistas even paid $200, $400, and even $600 for Payless Shoes but you can get these fake shoes at Payless for $19.99 or lower.”
The event is the focus of the brands latest commercial and one of the greatest marketing campaigns in history because it has gone viral. Payless CMO Sarah Couch made an official statement where she revealed the motivation behind the experiment.
“The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion,” Payless CMO Sarah Couch told Adweek.
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