4 things Emily in Paris did get right about marketing from a creative agency

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brunette woman looking at the Eiffel Tower

Emily in Paris made its return to our screens at the end of 2021 with its highly anticipated second series. For those who haven’t binged the Netflix series yet, Emily in Paris follows junior marketing executive Emily who relocates to Paris to provide Savoir, a French marketing firm, her American point of view.  We see Emily navigate love, cultural differences and marketing campaign pitches throughout the series.  

Not everyone is an Emily in Paris stan and the show received criticism for its inaccurate representation of Paris, reinforcement of negative cultural stereotypes and the lack of diversity within casting. The show even ruffled feathers of marketers across the world as they deemed the show’s representation of marketing, while glamours, very unrealistic.  

While we as a creative agency agree that Emily in Paris is not an accurate reflection of what it’s like to work in the marketing agency (We are yet to see Emily get client approval for any of her social content) There are some key takeaways from the show. 

Reactive marketing works  

In season one we see Emily capture a quick flat lay snap of fashion designer, Pierre Cadault’s dress which was worn by American Actress Brooklyn in the show.  

After a wild night of partying, Emily take’s a picture of the dress on the floor with the simple caption ‘About last night...#PC2020’. The picture goes viral overnight and receives over 200,000 likes, making designer Cadault relevant to a whole new demographic.  

 Pierre Cadault dress

© Emily in Paris, Netflix 2020

While 200,000 likes overnight on a dress picture isn’t exactly accurate, it shows that being reactive, responsive and quick thinking are skills that can help your content engagement fast.  

Wurkhouse tips: Reactive marketing has many benefits. Responding to real-time events, topics, news etc means your business/brand will come across as relevant and relatable to your target audience.  

Use tools like Google Trends to explore what’s trending in your location, what’s been trending recently and its search volume and create content around trends that’s engaging and relevant to your business.  


Influencer marking will continue to dominate in 2022 

While Emily explores Paris and takes photos that capture her interest, she somehow manages to rapidly grow her following overnight and after being inviting to a cosmetics launch event, Emily begins to see herself as a bit of an influencer.  

emily_influencer© Emily in Paris, Netflix 2020

Many content creators will be unimpressed with how Emily’s rise is documented, as we all know that becoming a successful influencer is much more than taking a few pictures with the hashtag #croissant, but what Emily does bluntly share in a quick meeting with the Cosmetics company, CEO is that the influencers she plans on using, while popular, many are not relevant to the cosmetics industry and are more interested in ‘self-promotion’ rather than the brand.  

Partnering with the right micro-influencers and macro-influencers can help brands build trust and reach new audiences and demographics, but when the partnership doesn’t seem genuine between the influencer and the brand, this can turn the audience away 

Wurkhouse tip: The key takeaway we learn is that businesses should be focusing on using influencers that are genuine, not just individuals who are popular and have a large following. 

Do your research and find out if you already have brand promoters. People who naturally promote your product/service online and have been seen to promote your business in the past will be seen as more authentic when promoting your product/service. Use social listening, monitor your hashtags, and analyse comments to see what your consumers are saying about your product/service. 

Affiliate programmes continue to grow in popularity and there’s a wide range of programmes which may suit your business. Check out our Wurkhouse blog on Affiliate marketing for more information on affiliate marketing and how to make it work for your business.  


Know your target Audience  

In Season 1, Emily arrives to her client, Maison Lavaux, perfume commercial and while her colleagues praise the decision to have the campaign model walk naked along the iconic Pont Neuf bridge to promote the perfume, Emily isn’t sold that this vision best represents the product.  

In a discussion with Masion Lavaux, Emily shares her concerns that the ad might come across as sexist which would be off-putting to the female target audience and quotes “I don’t think American women will respond to this” 

sexy_or_sexist© Emily in Paris, Netflix 2020

The key takeaway, as Emily shares, is that it matters how the ad is perceived by the customers, they will ultimately be the one’s purchasing (or not purchasing) the product.  

Wurkhouse tip: Know your target audience before launching any campaign. Carry out detailed buyer personas to gather key information on demographics but also know your buyer persona’s likes, dislikes, social media platforms they are most active on, influencers they follow etc.  

Knowing this information create content that 

  • Helps your target audience with their pain points/challenges  
  • Demonstrates your business/brand as the industry expert 
  • Creates a relationship between your business and potential customers 

Also know what your target audience are saying about your business. Use social listening tools to monitor any mentions or tags your business receives across social media.  


Get creative and think outside the box (but have research!) 

One great thing about Emily is that she does bring fresh ideas to the table. Marketing is a competitive industry, it's reported that by 2023 the number of global social media users is expected to reach 3.43 billion! This means plenty of competition and how important it is that your businesses social media campaigns stand out amongst the crowd. 

Emily brings a fresh pair of eyes to marketing campaigns, and she thinks up clever and interesting way's that Savoir's clients can interact with their target audience. Campaigns that stood out in 2021 were one's that used emotion, told a story and were 'outside the box' of what's typically expected from a marketing campaign. While Emily's colleagues are sceptical about moving away from campaigns that they know will be successful, Emily's creative campaigns do land results. 

Emily-in-Paris-Maison-Lavaux-1© Emily in Paris, Netflix 2020

Wurkhouse tip: Before beginning any new marketing campaign, Wurkhouse recommends the following

  • Research your competitors. Know what your competition is up too and what marketing strategy they are implementing.
  • Craft your campaign goals and set SMART Objectives for your campaign. Your campaign objectives will be the foundation for your campaign evaluation and will determine if your campaign was a success.
  • Create buyer personas and find your target market. Knowing what your ideal customer 'looks' like will help when curating content, content that is relevant to the target audience will perform better. 
  • Understand and know what stage of the buyer's lifecycle your customer is in, this will determine your social media content i.e. awareness or persuasion. 
  • Evaluate your campaign post launch and ensure you capture key data for measuring success i.e. conversion rates, leads generated etc. 

To sum up, while Emily makes some valid points, the show has set some unrealistic expectations of the marketing industry and the time, effort and expertise that goes into creating a marketing campaign. 

If you're interested in finding out more about how Wurkhouse can develop a strategic growth marketing plan for your business, book in for a free consultation today.  


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