Shoppers are easily fooled. Even experienced fashionistas.
Payless Shoes proved that when they opened a fancy fake shoe store in a Los Angeles mall and sold their low-priced footwear for hundreds of dollars apiece, according to CNN.
They created the stunt by setting up a store called “Palessi” filled with classy displays and well-dressed salespeople. Then they invited 80 fashion enthusiasts to their grand opening nights to shop away.
Fashionistas “oohed” and “aahed” over high-priced footwear, despite the fact that it had all been pulled off the shelves of a normal Payless store — and simply given Palessi labels.
“They’re elegant, sophisticated,” one shopper gushed over a floral-print pump.
“I just think it’s so classy,” said another woman about a shoe she fell in love with.
“I can tell it was made with high-quality material,” a man said, admiring a trendy sneaker.
“I would pay $400, $500,” said a woman. “People are going to be like ‘Where’d you get those? Those are amazing!’”
The fashion shoppers ended up walking out of the store with shoes they had paid hundreds of dollars for, even up to $600, for shoes that were priced for as little as $20 at Payless.
“Shut up!” one of the fashionistas said after the hoax was revealed. “Are you serious? Wait, did I just pay to much?”
Not intending to actually scam their customers, Payless gave all of them their money back and let them keep their shoes. They used video clips of their social experiment to create ads aimed at the potential Payless customers.
Payless CMO Sarah Couch explained, "The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”
Social media commenters had a field day with this: