Posted by: bwoof | October 30, 2009

Oprah is everywhere

Today I learned a bit about symbiotic marketing. And it’s a strategy that seems to sell stuff if my observations of the masses at a local Payless shoe store are any indication.

Apparently, if you watch Oprah’s show (and I don’t!) then you’ll know that designer Christian Siriano was a recent guest. He’s got quite a rags to riches story but apparently he’s whomping up a fashion storm right now.

Perhaps it helps that he has designed a line of shoes suitable for targeting the fashion conscious but even more price-conscious crowd who shops at Payless. I, myself, confess to having found at least two great finds there…items that people comment about, so it can’t be all that bad, right?


paylessOprah et al started a deluge of Payless shopping today when, as a follow-up to Christian’s interview and showcasing of his line, they provided online coupons for 50% off any purchases if one goes and shops at Payles (in person!!!) today. Yes, right now, as in today!  Only today….let’s rachet up the intensity so people get all panicked and just have to go today!

What I saw at Payless tonight proves the point. People will go to extraordinary ends just to do as Oprah says. Payless tonight was packed and you literally could not move. The lineups of people with boxes and boxes of shoes told me that the idea of online coupons with a time-sensitive date may be marketing of the future.

‘Don’t wait for people to come to you. Just trick them into thinking that they can’t do without you! Then they’ll come in droves. The thrill of the hunt, perhaps?

Well, that’s how I came to know that Oprah’s little tricky trick might actually be working. What an interesting way to garner attention for the designer. Just give the world a nano-free-online-coupon (printable for dinosaurs like some of us or viewable on a cell phone for the rest of the emerging 21st century world), and the masses will flock, run, race, all the way to your store and in no time at all they’ll be buying dozens of pairs of shoes when really they have so much already that that should have gotten rid of items!

The personal irony of this situation is that I’ve just a short while ago dropped Wes and friends off at the airport and their next couple weeks of hard labour in 40 degree weather (Celsius for any non-Canadians) where the trappings of life including fashion and bathrooms and cashmere will become surprisingly valueless. What seems important on Oprah may be equally as unimportant depending on your perspective.

Grateful for:

  • Mt 6 – “lay up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt…”
  • The Careforce team that is en route to Burkina Faso

Curious about:

  • Mac marketing and the Apple Store at Square One — can’t believe how many people were there and how compelling the ‘experience’ is to be a shopper there

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