Here’s a brilliant little stunt from Publicis timed to Fashion Week New York—a storefront on Canal Street called Deisel that appears to be a blatant knock-off store, but which is actually an official Diesel store in disguise.
Canal Street, of course, is home to a notoriously sprawling marketplace of knock-off goods. Counterfeit Diesel products wouldn’t be out of place at all there—which is why it’s such a clever idea for Diesel to open what is probably the world’s first authentic knock-off store.
The project comes from Publicis New York, in collaboration with Publicis Italy.
The video below, taken when the store opened briefly a few days ago, offers a pretty amusing look at how shoppers reacted to the Deisel clerks’ protestations that the cheap merch is actually the real thing.
What’s even better is that the concept is perfectly on brand. Diesel last year launched a global campaign around celebrating flaws—a campaign that saw this new spot launch a few weeks ago. And the Deisel products—actual high quality goods, but with a glaringly bogus logo—fit wonderfully into that positioning.
The shoppers who bought the seemingly bogus goods were in for quite a surprise, too: The pieces were one-of-a-kind, specially crafted by Diesel design team, and “very likely to become collector’s items,” the brand says. We have no idea what effect this move will have on the actual problem of knock-offs, but it’s crazy fun for a global brand to embrace that netherworld in such a creative way.
The brand even goes further and salutes the Deisel buyers, who gladly absconded with what they believed were fake goods, for being “brave enough to venture off the beaten path to find their own unique style.”
The store is back open today (Feb. 9) through Monday, for anyone who wants to run over there and pick up some deals.
“Only a brand with a fierce legacy of innovation has the courage to storm Fashion Week conventions with a knock-off brand, sold street-wear style, on Canal Street,” Andy Bird, chief creative officer at Publicis New York, said in a statement. “Diesel has been breaking conventions in the fashion world for 40 years. Here they are again, taking a direct-to-consumer twist on fashion marketing, smack in the center of one of the largest fashion-centric events in the world. Now that’s a real fashion statement.”
“When we were young creatives we only had one dream—working with Diesel,” Publicis New York executive creative directors Luca Lorenzini and Luca Pannese said in a joint statement. “We were literally in love with anything that was coming from them, both in fashion and advertising. And now we’ve been lucky enough to finally work with them. Pushing the boundaries of creativity is easier when you work with someone who has being doing it for years. Canal Street is not exactly the location you think of when it comes to New York Fashion Week. Only a brand that’s been challenging conventions since the beginning, like Diesel, could literally take this road less traveled.”
Campaign Title: Deisel
Agency: Publicis New York
Chief Creative Officer: Andy Bird
Executive Creative Directors: Luca Pannese, Luca Lorenzini
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Bryce Hooton
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Kristen Koop
EVP, Chief Production Officer: Lisa Bifulco
VP, Executive Producer: Tim Legallo
Business Manager: Adrienne Ludvigsen
Account Directors: Melanie Lyon, James Bundy
Global Chief Creative Director Publicis WW and CEO Publicis Italia: Bruno Bertelli
Executive Creative Director Publicis Italia: Cristiana Boccassini
Digital Creative Directors Publicis Italia: Milos Obradovic, Mihnea Gheorghiu
Head of Social: Stefano Perazzo
Social Media Manager: Doina Tatu
Strategic Planner: Noa Dekel
Account team Publicis Italia: Barbara Pusca, Camilla Poli
Production Company: Rival School Pictures
Director: Andrew Lane
Executive Producer: James Blom
Production Supervisor: Doug Smith
Asst. Production Supervisor: Connor Vassar
Editorial Company: Cosmo Street
Editor: Aaron Langley
Producer: Paolo Solarte
Audio Record & Mix: Duotone
Music: Music: Alessandro Cristofori and Diego Perugini for Stabbiolo Music