Influencers get Hoodwinked by Payless!

Remember Payless? Yeah, that one store my dad would drag me into but I’d use my hoodie to cover my face so no one will recognizes me. Well, in a clever advertising stunt, Payless opened a fake pop-up store called "Palessi" in a high-end Santa Monica mall, filled it with Payless shoes disguised as exclusive Italian shoes, created a fake website and an Instagram account and then invited influencers to the store grand opening.

Influencer Rule #137: you do not pass up an "exclusive" event! According to Palessi, about 80 influencers attended the grand opening and spent a total of $3,000. One even spent $640 for a pair of cheap boots, and another said "I would pay $400 or $500" for a shoe she didn’t know costs $19.99. Some even called the Payless shoes "elegant and sophisticated."

What’s the key takeaway?

Payless shoes are back ... by influencer demand! Payless wants you to feel confident rocking its Instagram-approved shoes, including limited edition dad sneakers, but remember, it's always a #BOGO deal. Moral of the story, if you want to sell a basic product for 1000% markup, just ask your fancy neighborhood “influencer” to put on their monocle and give their expertise endorsement of your new product. Also read: What it takes to make Instagram Influencing a full-time career.


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