& # 39; They Went Ourself & # 39 ;: Inside Payless & # 39; elaborate praise to indulge people to pay $ 600 for shoes | business

A mini-runway lined with stiletto handle, gliding in shining fluorescent lamps. Shoes of different types fit nicely in individual glass shelves. A statue of an angel carrying several bags stands in the middle like Los Angeles Fashionistas mill, trying 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? They are amazing, "said a woman as she tried on a pair of light-green shoes with leopard print.

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

However, there is Payless ShoeSource ̵[ads1]1; A discount shopper hopes to shake things up through an elaborate and expensive advertising to attract new customers and change the notion that the company only sells cheap, unique shoes.

"We felt this campaign would be a great way to get many people to consider Payless again and to realize that it's more than just a shoe store in the mall, "says Sarah Couch, Payless Chief.

But the prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not able to know the quality and value of the things they buy, "said Philip Graves, Consumer Administration Consultant from the UK. Relax a fancy-looking European label on a $ 30 shoe and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an excessive amount of money for.

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

The campaign is the source of a 10-person advertising agency in Brooklyn. DCX Growth Accelerator specializes in big media pranks, or what the company calls "culture hacking." A few weeks ago, the company concluded its idea for Payless, who had seen an out-of-the-box advertising campaign in front of the holiday. DCX examined Payless's early successes, why its speed has stopped and what it can do to help turn the brand around, Doug Cameron said, setting up DCX in 2015. Payless shuttered hundreds of stores and struck by thousands of employees last year. [19659003] "We wanted to do something provocative. We wanted to get Payless back to the cultural discourse," 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 center that houses shops such as Louis Vuitton, Barneys, Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co. The team rented the pitch for six weeks.

Secondly, they needed a name, and they wanted something that sounded like Payless. Among the first ideas was an upscale hipster Brooklyn-based boutique they would call Eli Pass. But the team eventually hit an Italian theme. They reorganized the letters of Eli Pass and came up with Palessi.

"I think Bruno came later," said Cameron about the fictional designers name.

They hired a decor designer to help them create an authentic, luxurious look for the launch party as well as people who would be the sales staff. They brought in gold mannequins, hung white dolls bags and installed the English statue in the middle. To push things a little longer without revealing the joke, Cameron said they rolled in gold-painted statues of lions and a giraffe.

The team said that they loved most of what's already in the store, such as glass shelves, as they carefully arranged different stilets, pumps, sneakers, boots and leather shoes. They covered the original label labels with "PALESSI" stickers in plain black lettering, and beat price tags as high as $ 1800.

The team also created an Instagram account and started stepping it with caption and random pictures of models and stiletheels. They bought and created a webpage, which is mostly empty, apart from the pictures of two styletos on mannequins.

Finally, they needed potential consumers. Cameron calls it "real person casting." They examined the streets and the Internet for social media, fashionable people who look like they are likely to attend this type of event.

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

On the day of launch on October 27, unsuspecting participants were lined up outside. The DCX and Payless team used the back of the store as a control room of different types, equipped with monitors attached to camcorders. When people arrived, paid interviewers and cams asked them what they thought of the shoes and how much they would pay for them. Cameron and his team were at the back and dictated the questions through microphones.

"Palessi is just so high quality, high fashion, takes your shoe to the next level," said a man who had nailed necklaces, held the high-wheel, knee boots. "It looks very good."

"It's just amazing. Elegant, sophisticated and versatile," said a woman, as she has a pair of floral stiletto handles.

"For me to experience this as an Italian designer It's amazing, said another man with an accent.

After the participants bought overpriced shoes – someone for $ 200, $ 400 and $ 600 – they were taken against The back room where the prank was revealed.

"You must shoot me, said the woman who had the gust of the flower blossoms, her eyes wide as she stared down on the overpriced shoes in her hands.

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 unsuspecting fashionists. She said she did not buy shoes because she had already bought a bunch of pairs a few days earlier. But she would have had she found a pair of her size.

"We would never have known. We were really convinced, "said Chang, who said she was paid to attend the event. "They had fooled us all."

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

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

"Consumers have paid enormously 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", will have a lasting impact on the dealer's brand.

"The next time someone enters a Payless Store, they will enter the regular Payless environment, see the usual Payless prices," he said – not the elegant, glamorous red carpet shop in Los Angeles.

Sofa, Payless Chef, Hope Graves Has Wrong. She said there's more to Payless than physical stores.

"The shopping experience at differs from the store … It's the fastest growing part of the business," she said. "The shops are an incredibly valuable part of the business, but the digital side is the focus of the campaign."

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