When you think luxury, you may not think Payless, but the brand is definitely proving you wrong. How? By seriously trolling influencers in a way that's goodnatured but proves a point. Payless's fake shoe boutique, Palessi, helped the brand prove that a price point doesn't dictate style, and it did so in a way that's going to seriously make you laugh.
In order to show the quality and style of their offerings, Payless decided to do a bit of trickery, and it was a total win. The brand set up a faux shoe boutique called Palessi (get it?) in Beverly Hills and invited a plethora of fashion influencers to attend their grand opening. The secret to the supposedly luxury store, however, was that the shoes inside were all Payless and all of them retailed for no more than $39.99. That, however, didn't stop influencers from thinking that the shoes were worth hundreds of dollars.
In the video created by Payless, influencers who were invited to the event discuss the quality of the materials that the shoes were made of, how stylist they were, and how everyone would be asking where they got the footwear. They offered hundreds of dollars for the shoes, some of which only cost $19.99. Then, they were surprised with the news that they were, in fact, shopping Payless shoes.
The brand looks at the way influencer culture impacts perceptions, and their aim was to demonstrate that Payless actually is still a great place to shop for great looking shoes that won't cost you your entire month's rent check. While money may be a difficult topic to discuss for millennial women, most aren't able or willing to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes just to wear it for the 'gram. In a survey from Bustle, 15 millennial women discussed their fashion budgets, and most of them were conscious of how much their spending and how they're saving by shopping less expensive and discount brands.
Like the women Bustle spoke with, Doug Cameron, Chief Creative Officer of DCX Growth Accelerator, explains that Payless customers are also pragmatists, look for stylish shoes that make sense for their budgets. Cameron explains that the "gotcha" style ad, "works particularly well for Payless because there is such a discrepancy between how the influencers see the shoes and how they see the Payless brand.”
The brand is clearly aware how fashion influencers may see the name Payless, but they also know that their shoes are certainly nothing to balk at. They're stylish and modern and affordable, attributes most shoppers want, even if they don't love the Payless name. Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Couch says, "Payless has gone to great lengths to create a portfolio of fashionable and high-quality shoes, but perceptions of the brand lag far behind this. The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”
Before you drop that extra hundred on that pair of boots you've been eyeing, maybe, just maybe head to Payless first.