Payless Shoes Punks Influencers By Temporarily Rebranding As Palessi

Photo: Franziska Krug / Contributor (Getty Images)

We live in weird times, the kind of times where brands roll out the red carpet for “influencers” with the hopes of having their products pimped on social media. It’s a strategy that’s worked for plenty of brands. However, what if you take this concept and turn it on its head? That’s what Payless ShoeSource did when it decided to rebrand by punking influencers.

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The brand donned a new name, Palessi, and opened a fake luxury store in Los Angeles. It was here that fashionistas from all over openly overpaid for shoes that sell for around $19.99 and $39.99. How much did these “influencers” overpay for this cutting-edge footwear…only by about $600, which is an 1,800 percent markup. (Insert crying-laughing emoji here.)

Sara Couch, Payless CMO said, “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 the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”

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Payless won’t be punking their core demographic, though. You can still score shoes described as “elegant and sophisticated” for super affordable prices. And why wouldn’t you? A bunch of know-it-all idiots dropped a dime for these shoes because they thought it came from a luxury brand. Now you can know you’re smarter than any influencers and more fashionable too.

Would you buy shoes from Palessi? Or did this publicity stunt force you to realize that branding is everything and capitalism is a sham? Let us know in the comments!