Emily in-terrogated: Questions from someone who actually works in marketing.
Look, we all watch it. We say we’re not going to, but then the new season comes out, and then it’s 3am and you’re left wondering whether you would dump your best friend’s marketing agency from managing your dad’s champagne brand if she ‘had relations’ with your boyfriend.
I’m referring, of course, to Emily in Paris, which, despite being subject to oodles of hate on the internet, just keeps getting renewed. Maybe the hate-watchers are bumping the figures up or maybe Lily Collins has serious dirt on a Netflix exec, but Emil-ee in Par-ee seems to be here to stay. And yeah, alright, I’ve seen every episode, okay?
While I’ve binged both seasons, as a real person working in social (though admittedly, in the much less glamorous Stoke-on-Trent) I’m not without my questions. Let’s dive into them. Warning – season 2 spoilers ahead.
1: Who approves her content?
Every client I’ve ever worked with has wanted some level of involvement in the approval process. Sure, some are happy to let you take the lead on BAU while others prefer a little more oversight on the details – but I’m extremely concerned that Emily did not immediately have her login privileges revoked after launching a social campaign (Vaga-jeune, anyone?) so viral that made it to the President’s wife’s Twitter feed without consulting anyone.
She got lucky with this one because it worked out – but it’s not the only time this happens in the show. Would I approve this, I ask myself? Probably not, nah. The asset itself is questionable at best and I’d probably ask her to rethink the wording to be a teensy bit more trans inclusive. But hey, viral!
2: Who is filming full adverts before every single pitch?
The team at Savoir either have a very well-resourced production team (more on this later) or they just don’t know what a storyboard is. Luc, who I’m forced to admit I have a soft spot for, seems to have multiple ready-made ads to pull out and show clients at the drop of a hat – every single time.
Granted, they all follow a similar formula (women, cigarettes, cars, black and white filter) – so maybe he’s got a bank. Having said that, I’d at least want the creative concept signed off by the client before I book out the studio. Which leads me to…
3: Where is the creative team?
The “core team” featured in the Savoir office is made up of Emily, Sylvie, Julien and Luc. A pretty realistic Client Services pod, for sure – but we only ever see about 5 or 6 other people in the office. Emily gets her own desk, Sylvie gets her own office – but what of these unnamed employés de bureau? Not a graphics tablet in sight, no studio, nil personne on a shoot – so they’re probably account execs of some sort.
We must assume Savoir has a robust creative team, but where are they?! I struggle to believe that France’s leading marketing agency, catering exclusively to luxury clientele (excluding of course the many times they have assigned a non-luxury client to Emily, because, why not, story > consistency) would not have an inhouse team. They outsource from time to time – Julien manages to flirt his way into working with Ellen von Unwerth – but you’re telling me there’s not a single camera in that office?
4: She’s dating clients! She is not only dating clients but breaking their hearts.
Romance at work is taboo as is – but to romance a client? A client who’s not on retainer?* A client who’s not on retainer, who you then hurt deeply by becoming romantically involved with your best friends’ boyfriend who is also your neighbour whose restaurant your marketing firm also represents, right before you’re due to go to St Tropez together? Oof. Poor Mathieu.
*I’m making an assumption that Pierre Cadault is not on any formal retainer as he was able to terminate the contract fairly immediately after Gregory’s fashion show.
5: What, specifically, is Emily’s job title and why does it not exist?
We’re never really sure of Emily’s seniority level – to all intents and purposes, it looks like the reason she was sent to Paris was because she’s besties with Madeleine rather than because she was the best person for the job. Soz Em. If I had to guess, she’s a junior exec of some sort – but why is a junior exec in charge of print, PR, OOH, pop ups, social, influencer/celebrity talent and TV?
The fine folk at Savoir give her the crumbs (in season 1, at least) – so if they don’t trust her to manage a high- profile client, I want to know why they trust her to manage the insurance papers for a two-million Euro watch when she doesn’t actually speak a word of French.
6: Emily’s asked to be the lead influencer on a Hästens campaign… but at the time she only has 20k followers
We love micro influencers. They’re a great way to generate awareness and increase engagement on campaigns – and heck, even drive sales – but a company that makes £15k mattresses probably has the budget to spring for some celebrity talent to head up the campaign.
Emily receives disparaging comments about her following from other influencers at a PR event and notes that she isn’t even offered the ‘large’ goody bag, so I have to wonder if she really has the pull to be the face of a campaign. Then again, who among us has even tried a £15k mattress?
At Puzzle, we’d probably suggest a macro or mega influencer to head up the campaign (What are those? Find out here!) paired with a “more is more” approach for micros – increase our reach while still maintaining the “premium” feel of a celebrity face. Just in case you were wondering xoxo
7: Emily seems to gain followers by doing… literally nothing?
Her pictures of flowers and croissants are lovely, but Emily starts out with 48 followers when she first arrives in Paris. We never see her replying to anyone, her use of hashtags veers on “silence, brand” and it’s never 100% clear which platform she’s actually posting to – yet her following jumps by seemingly thousands in her first few weeks at Savoir (prior to her dramatic delete, of course). Is she paying for followers? No, because they’re genuinely engaged with her content. Emily, explain what is happening here.
Look, maybe all this comes from a sense of bitterness. Do I want to move to Paris, eat a fresh almond croissant for breakfast every morning and float from client to client suggesting wild ideas, overworking while simultaneously doing literally nothing? Probably not, no, Emily’s apartment has far too many stairs. But we can’t blame a plouc for trying.
You can find George posting pictures of cats, crochet and carbohydrates over on Instagram – and, believe us, they’re always willing to chat about TV. Want to work with a team that won’t leave you wondering? Drop us a line on email@example.com – we’re a lot friendlier than Savoir.