The series which was released on Netflix, (starring Lily Collins who has previously starred alongside Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror and Taylor Lautner in Abduction, to name a few), just as the COVID-19 pandemic was ripping through global communities, is a boomer’s belief of a lazy millennial’s life and the millennial's daydream of how their life should have turned out.
Emily in Paris is a 10-episode TV-show about a marketing and social media coordinator who heads off to Paris almost by accident/ realignment of fate to work for a French Luxury Boutique Marketing Agency.
First - Why watch Emily in Paris at all you'd wonder?
The Parisian men and love triangles,
The Parisian fashion & style
The dream-come-true/ have-it-all storyline
The subtle comedy
So why is this TV-show ruffling the feathers of so many marketers, in particular, those that work in social media marketing?
Whilst I do agree that the show does make it seem like a no-brainer when it comes to becoming an influencer or social media marketer, if you take a moment to look beyond the love triangles, fashion disasters and social media faux-hacks, it also does clearly showcase the struggle between traditional and digital marketing that many seasoned marketers and corporate brands continue to face, in the struggle to stay on top.
But more about that later.
Second - why Emily in Paris is not the ultimate guide to becoming a social media influencer.
Yes in the grand scheme of things, Emily leaving the US to lead a life and career in Paris is probably every little girl's dream - but her rise to fame is very questionable and so is her authenticity as a social media marketer who's come to impart her wisdom on the French extension of the company she works at in the US.
Angles do matter - as we view Emily's rise in followers, we also notice that whilst she is an attractive, charming, witty young lady - she also does have good and bad angles. Just like the rest of us. So as much as we tend to get our jollies watching influencers take a million selfies, their line of work does involve the perfect angle and taking the time to make it right.
Hashtags do go a long way - have you ever taken a moment to check out the hashtags Emily uses? Well, we did and her hashtags aren't on-trend nor opening her up to a larger audience. Wonder why people hashtag #VisitSriLanka and #SoSriLanka, because they are highly followed and viewed tags. #RoomWithAView however, as we see Emily using it in the first scene - isn't.
Pictures of unknown children - this is a no no, especially if you're an influencer - permission is needed no matter which part of the world you're in - you can get sued or at least be on the receiving end of a very strongly worded inbox message or social media rant.
Planning and strategy is key - whilst we do see a lot of people becoming over night sensations due to viral videos, memes, news-stories, heroics, etc - once you get there, it takes a helluva lotta strategy and planning to stay up there. Just ask your friendly-neighbourhood influencer and they'll probably give you a rundown of their real routine (given the cameras aren't rolling).
Third - and what I loved about this movie (besides Gabriel of course) - the tension between Sylvie and Emily (to me) personifies the struggle between traditional marketing/ marketers and digital marketers.
How you may ask? While Sylvie characterises the typical ad agency powerhouse who understands luxury, pomp, extravagance, making a brand aspirational; Emily is the new gen marketer who comes in simple, raw, authentic and pushing very ringarde ways.
Whilst we see the struggle for Sylvie and the rest of the Parisian team to understand Emily and the new direction she wants to take some of these very old brands in - we cannot help but empathise with the fears Sylvie embodies. Most veteran marketers do in fact struggle to understand the everyday changes in social media and the change in brand tone, personality and even the rawness required sometimes to bare your soul on social media to really connect with your audiences - undoubtedly, when done in an uncontrolled environment (as Emily continues to do) it does take a while for the Sylvie's of the marketing world to get on-board, and with good reason!
Emily - she embodies every social media marketer and their struggle to show their own in a world of marketing big-wigs and corporate giants. While she continues to get pummelled by Sylvie we cannot help but hold out hope, knowing if she gets her act together (and actually knew something about social media) that she'd eventually be validated in her efforts. But needless to say - its a dream come true TV-show, of course that happens in the end.
So, would I watch it again? I did. Would I recommend it - I have.
Emily in Paris reminds many of viewers of those teen dream/ young-adult movies about everything working out and sometimes we all need a bit of that. It's a definite must watch, but not a definite handbook for becoming an influencer