Patterico's Pontifications


This Season’s Warm and Fuzzy Holiday Story

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:18 pm

[guest post by JVW]

A heartwarming local tale:

Payless taught fashion influencers a lesson about shoes by opening a fake store that sold Main Street shoes at Madison Avenue prices.

Payless ShoeSource held a launch party in Los Angeles for the bogus label Palessi and invited the fashionistas to sample the merchandise. Payless posted a video of what happened on Facebook.

The VIP shoppers paid as much as $645 for shoes that sell from $19.99 to $39.99 at Payless. The store rang up $3,000 before Payless came clean with the reveal.

One shopper exclaimed, “Shut up! Are you serious?”

The pranked shoppers got their money back and were allowed to keep the shoes.

Their reactions will be featured in a series of commercials.

That’s modern America for you. Once upon a time these gullible “influencers” would have slunked away in bitter embarrassment, but today when you tell them they will be in a commercial they are happy to sign the release form and showcase their pretentiousness to the entire world. I guess Ovid pegged this two millennia ago: spectatum veniunt, lenient spectentur ut ipsae.


18 Responses to “This Season’s Warm and Fuzzy Holiday Story”

  1. I never thought of the idea of following Payless Shoes on Facebook.

    JVW (42615e)

  2. If they charged $500 average a pair of shoes they only needed 6 idiots to reach $3000.

    A partial parallel is how Kenneth Cole started his shoe business

    Cole originally named the company Kenneth Cole Incorporated in September 1982[2] and planned to showcase his new line of shoes during market week at the Hilton New York Hotel. Finding that he could not afford to purchase a hotel room or showroom to exhibit his line, he borrowed a truck and asked the mayor’s office for permission to park two blocks away from the Hilton Hotel in front of a fancy shoe building. Upon learning that permits were only granted to utility companies and production companies shooting full-length motion pictures, Cole changed the name of the company to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and applied for a permit to shoot a full-length motion picture entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company”.

    With Kenneth Cole Productions painted on the side of the truck, they opened for business on December 2, 1982, in front of 1370 Avenue of the Americas. They had a fully furnished forty-foot trailer, klieg lights, a director, a rolling camera, models as actresses, and two NYPD policemen as doormen. A velvet rope allowed a limited number of people into the trailers and in two and a half days they sold forty thousand pairs of shoes. The company remains Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. to this day to honor this unusual beginning.[3]

    (From here

    Kishnevi (5b662e)

  3. Great marketing idea. Whoever thought it up should get a nice Christmas bonus, at the very least.

    Paul Montagu (8afb2a)

  4. P.T. Barnum is laughing in his grave.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  5. My daughter gives $100 to Nike for Converse shoes that I used to give $2 to Mr. Woolworth for. And mine were better quality, made in the USA. Marketing is everything.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. nk, if those are actually the real Chucks you used to wear, your daughter shouldn’t be paying anything more than $50-55 for them. And about $10 less for the low-tops.

    Kishnevi (5b662e)

  7. Converse did a very clever thing with Chuck Taylors and rolled out a program where you can now design your own and have them specially made. My understanding from my nieces is that it’s a big deal for teenage girls to design them and give them to friends as gifts. As nk alluded to, the brand is now owned by Nike.

    JVW (42615e)

  8. Thee’s a story that the great violinist Joshua Bell played in the Washington DC subway and hardly anyone paid any attention to him.

    Charlie Davis (92fc73)

  9. Hilarious!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. They had a fully furnished forty-foot trailer, klieg lights, a director, a rolling camera, models as actresses, and two NYPD policemen as doormen.

    Not bad for a guy who couldn’t afford a hotel room.

    Dave (1bb933)

  11. Ahhhh, yes. Yes, indeed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. R.I.P. George H.W. Bush.

    41 was 94.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. RIP

    harkin (a53154)

  14. R.I.P. and / y D.E.P., those that refer to Bush as Boosh be damned!

    urbanleftbehind (5e7f00)

  15. Forget the “Devil Wears Prada” fashion industry. I still like bell-bottoms and t-shirts! Feet are ugly – so covering ’em up with bell bottoms always made sense to me.
    Those cropped pants look silly too. “High-waters.”

    Tillman (61f3c8)

  16. Made me think of Allen Funt and Candid Camera.

    mg (ebf6c2)

  17. I’m thinking of an Andy Griffith segment where a shoe salesman came to town; was told he was going to be fired because his sales were so poor; and because the women in town were trying to prove a point about men gossiping (they spread a rumor that he was there to interview talent for some kind of TV show); he sold a huge number of shoes while listening to people’s kids sing and play the saxophone.

    Rochf (877dba)

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