Marketing

Emily in Paris Review from a Marketing Perspective

Let’s talk marketing and forget about the croissant

Image Source: CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX © 2020

It’s raining, and I’m drinking my warm honey ginger citrus tea, wishing I were in Paris right now. Oh please, I want to talk to you about chocolate croissant, trench coats and berets, and Gabriel, but an Emily in Paris review from a marketing perspective is what I can bring to the table.

Spoiler alert: Emily works in a marketing firm in Chicago and lands her dream job in Paris, a luxury marketing firm that happens to be like an extension of their company. She works as a Marketing Executive but heavily-focused on social media. In the series, it was clearly distinguished that there was a vast difference in social media marketing between the US and Paris, mainly because of the culture. However, Emily — an energetic, passionate, and filled with positivity twenty-something — still gives her fresh ideas from an American perspective to the Paris audience.

Here are some marketing-related parts in the series that I’d like to talk about.

Emily’s Instagram Growth

Image Source: NETFLIX © 2020

Don’t get me started on this one because I feel like I would need to write an entire article about her unrealistic Instagram growth. I know you all can agree with me. Seriously, she started with less than 50 followers and will post content with lousy hashtags, but suddenly makes it to an influencers event? Emily posts selfies on her actual feed (okay, she’s charming, but who does that nowadays), photos of children without permission from their guardian, food of a stranger across the table, and just generally not the most Instagram-worthy photos (thank God it’s Paris, though). Nevertheless, her followers skyrocket to thousands in less than a week. I mean, make it make sense.

To be fair, Emily has all the qualities to be an influencer and go viral. She’s alluring, white, working in the digital marketing industry, and living her dream life in Paris. If I were one of her potential audience, it’s a no-brainer that I’m going to follow her religiously because who doesn’t want a daily dose of Paris life as well as marketing jazz on their feeds? So #relatable.

I know you’re thinking, “of course, it’s a damn series,” but what I’m saying is, Emily works as a social media marketer, so she pretty much should know how to utilize the gram. You don’t post a photo with the caption #roomwithaview and expect people to see your post. Why?

  1. Who on earth follows the hashtag #roomwithaview?
  2. Tell me one person who’s checking the hashtag #roomwithaview?
  3. Who will share and save your selfie, with a duff hashtag, which will eventually lead you to have increased followers?

As we all know, the quality of content, engagement, and hashtags play a key role in your Instagram growth. If she posts poorly-taken photos with captions full of fluff and no hashtags strategy but still has her followers increasing massively without any of those aforementioned strategic methods, it requires brain surgery.

Sylvie Wanting To Close Doors

Image Source: NETFLIX © 2020

On one of the first episodes, Sylvie straightforwardly tells Emily that she wants to close doors as compared to her, who wants to open more and try everything. This is pretty understandable because first and foremost, Emily went to the Paris marketing firm to bring ideas from a different point of view.

Sylvie is most probably one of those who are still stuck on traditional marketing and afraid to try new ones. But is that all? No, because the thing is, big and household brands have already done all sorts of marketing strategies and stick to them. Most brands are afraid to try something new because they think their approach is working well as long as they make sales when they can do better than that and improve in all aspects, such as increasing brand awareness and expanding their target audience.

However, I do understand that maybe it is a cultural difference. As Luc, a co-worker said on the 1st episode:

We are a little afraid of you. Your ideas. They are more new. Maybe they are better. Now you are here, and maybe we feel we have to work harder.

So I don’t know, maybe Sylvie doesn’t generally represent the traditional marketer but she’s just not open to new ideas as she wants to stick with the usual to avoid difficulties?

Sexy or Sexist: Politically Insensitive Ads

Image Source: NETFLIX © 2020

Antoine, the “nose” or founder of Maison Lavoux, produced a commercial for the perfume. It features a Serbian woman who walks fully naked on Point Neuf, with an enthralling view of the Seine river, as several men follow her with their eyes as she passes by. Emily immediately sounds the alarm that it is considered “male gaze” and would not be taken lightly by their audience due to the fact that it is politically incorrect nowadays.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but based on my research, just like most countries, France is a heavily patriarchal country. I even saw one article that there are French women who oppose the #MeToo movement, so obviously, who’d listen to an American, who wants to bring her views in Paris, that has an established and rich culture? But we’re talking about social media here, where if done strategically, the reach would not only be limited to one country but the whole world.

Digital and traditional advertisements nowadays are becoming more and more sensitive. There had been so many brands that were called to boycott due to its political insensitivity. Should I list them down here? No, because it would take some time. Going back to Maison Lavoux, having Emily in the team, who’s socio-politically aware I assume, saves the brand from criticisms. The “Sexy or Sexist” Twitter poll campaign created conversation amongst people with different takes and increased its brand visibility online.

Influencers Event

Image Source: NETFLIX © 2020

I was a Public Relations intern and when it came to product launch, we made sure that we can send the invites more than a week before the event in case an influencer doesn’t respond and whatnot but hey, IDK Paris. Maybe sending an invite hours before the event is their thing.

My main concern is why on earth would Durée Cosmetics invite Emily Cooper to their event?

  1. Her posts are terrible. Let’s be honest. Personally, I do not have the best Instagram feed but she has 5 digits of followers, which should only mean that she has something unique as to why her audience is crazily increasing everyday. But no, her feed is awful and she is not a celebrity, to begin with.
  2. She is not a beauty influencer. When you’re in the PR industry and there’s an event, the influencers you should be inviting are the ones from the niche. So why did they invite Emily when she’s not a beauty influencer?
  3. How did they find her page in the first place? Her hashtags are awful. She has no influencer friends she posts on Instagram aside from Mindy, Camille, and the strangers she takes photos of without their consent. Usually, Public Relations officers do extensive research on who are the influencers to invite. Most of them use hashtags or well-known influencers in the niche to scout. So.. how?

Also, at some point, it portrays reality on events because there are some influencers who are just interested in freebies, which is kind of acceptable (I guess?). I just can’t fathom why a high-end cosmetics brand would invite a non-beauty influencer to their event and waste resources. Maybe her engagements are high? But what do you expect from a Chief Marketing Officer who thinks that “Berry Hungry” is clever?

Pierre Cadault’s Post with 177K likes

Image Source: NETFLIX © 2020

This particular photo posted on Pierre Cadault’s account gains 177 likes just a few hours after posting it. That alone is kind of unrealistic already, except if you’re a Kardashian or Ester Exposito. How so?

  1. The hashtag is only #PC2020. Like other luxury brands, it is easy to understand that their hashtags are usually customized or personalized.
  2. We’re not sure of his follower count. How many followers does Pierre Cadault have to gain almost 200k likes in just a few hours of posting? That is massive. His engagement rate must be really high.
  3. The photo does not even look like it’s 177k-worthy. Hey, it’s not bad! I personally liked the idea behind it, but does it really have the potential to gain that many likes?

Let’s see:

Victoria’s Secret is the 2nd most followed brand, according to Unmetric. They post similar photos but their likes are usually ranging from 50,000–150,000. But it’s like comparing an apple to orange if we put PC beside a lingerie brand, right? So let’s compare it with Chanel, a French fashion house, to be fair. Chanel has 41M followers.

Usually, if a brand posts no more than their product, the engagement is not really as high, like Burj Khalifa high. Unless the styling is bewitching, maybe we’ll give it a pass. However, when a brand posts with celebrities, it is when the engagements will skyrocket because the usual reach will increase due to their respective fanbases.

Image source: Chanel Official Instagram Account

This is Kim Jennie, a member of the global K-pop group BLACKPINK with 33 million followers. If you look at this post from Chanel, the views are 1M and the likes are 148k, roughly two (2) days after its posting.

Image source: Chanel Official Instagram Account

Then let’s take a look at Kristen Stewart, who’s most probably more popular than Jennie. Her views are 312k and the likes are only 47k, one (1) day after its posting.

I don’t know, maybe Pierre Cadault has a wide reach or in Paris, that kind of photo is worthy of 177k likes. I’m just saying that the circumstances in reality don’t really add up, given the screenshots above. If you think it’s possible despite my example, then just pack it up. I’m not going to listen… Kidding! I am very open to conversations!

Wrapping Up

Emily in Paris is very unrealistic marketing-wise, and it’s ironic because the main reason why she went to Paris was to work in a marketing firm. Maybe I’m wrong with all the crap written in here, maybe I’m not. All in all, I really enjoyed watching this and I hope I get to live her life (especially with Gabriel but not the poor social media presence, though!).

Disclaimer: All words and knowledge are mine unless otherwise stated. I am not a 100% expert but these are my views and own explanations and understanding. I’m not 100% sure if France is a heavily patriarchal country so I said correct me if I’m wrong because I haven’t done a hardcore researching on that part.

Do not copy. Image sources are available at the bottom of each photos.

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Trisha B

Trisha B

digital creator, social media strategist, writer, and self-proclaimed storyteller. email: hello@trisha-b.com NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY COMPANY.