What would you do if you spent hundreds of dollars on shoes that you thought were from a luxury brand?
Payless ShoeSource pranked about 60 influencers into paying almost 1800 percent in markups. The purpose of the campaign was to shift consumers’ perceptions of the brand.
In doing so, the brand opened a fake store by the name of “Palessi” at an upscale mall in Santa Monica. The social media influencers were told they’d receive between $100 and $250 in compensation to attend a market research event. Some of the influencers spent up to $645 for footwear that normally retails between $19.99 and $39.99.
The shoppers were captured sharing their thoughts on the shoes as well as the quality. “It’s just stunning. Elegant, sophisticated,” one shopper said of a stiletto heel.
Let’s just say the influencers were shocked when they learned that the shoes they were drooling over were from Payless. The shoppers got their money back but were allowed to keep the shoes.