Performante Nov 26, 2020

Part 2. Emily in je ne sais Pa(ri)s. Aka 12 essential “I-don’t-knows” from the confused, advertising-based binge-watcher

If you reading these words, you probably enjoyed the first episode of “let’s point out what’s weird in “Emily in Paris” apart from Emily’s outfits”. Bon voyage!

7 Je Suis Comme Je Suis*

What’s with the narrative “I know I know nothing but I am me and this is who I am” and the creator’s strong belief it also works for marketing relations? It breaks down like this: Emily goes for a meeting with the world-famous fashion designer, Pierre Cadault. Her boss asked her for dressing up appropriately for the occasion and what stunt does Emily pull? She wears a cheap charm bag from some designer which causes Cadault to flip and throw her out from the meeting, calling her “basic” and “tasteless”. Our poor girl almost sabotaged the possible cooperation with the designer at the very beginning, and yet, she pursued him at the ballet performance, giving him an oh-so-American-chick-flick speech about people like her, who can’t afford designer’s collections, but driven by the admiration towards them, are buying some petite stuff like bag charms. She even says that people like her (with cheap taste, but aspiring) is who the designers need the most. Emily clearly forgot she’s not in Kansas anymore. And she forgot she’s not selling the vaccines, so the “common people” narrative would be here for nothing. But in Darren Star’s universe, this is something inspiring and eye-opening for the designer. So much he demands her for the next meeting with the Savoir.

8 Banalité*

As much as I understand the self-referenced American culture, which is eating its tail for many years, I can’t understand why someone decided that said American pop culture could be a “mental” bridge connecting the French and Emily herself. She wins the designer’s attention not because she tries to understand his perspective nor his creations, but because they both binge-watched a teen soap TV drama “Gossip Girl’. It’s never Emily stepping up and deepening her knowledge on the French side — her perception of Paris is set by other American productions like animation “Ratatouille” or Buzz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge”. She tried to read Simone Beauvoir in college and likes Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting, but without all the biographical context and the period nuances. As much as the shallowness of the advertising world is widely known, she should at least try to look for some indigenous insights. Oh, actually she comes up with one — she threw the word “poetry” into the claim for the perfumes because of course, it will be highly appreciated in the land of Rimbaud and Verlaine, right?

9 Coups et Blessures*

If Emily has a master’s degree in communication (which she likes to show off with more than two times in the series), doesn’t she know that mastering the language of the community you’re about to step into is crucial to communicate? Of course, English is now the lingua franca of the world, but still, doesn’t she know how better would she connect with the natives? But nooo, she throws her “bonjours”, “tres biens” and “mercis” to her speech and she feels she’s done enough effort for her stay. She didn’t even bother to learn the insult she was about to backfire at her unpleasant workmate — the voice translator did this job for her and that was more of the low blow than the insult itself.

10 l’insouciance*

Why on Earth for the promotion of the prestigious brand for watches, Savoir has chosen the average, pretentious American movie star as its brand ambassador? She’s primitive, vulgar, and shows no class whatsoever. Does the show creators not know that the brand ambassador is always cautiously picked up to fulfill the publicity requirements? Funny as it is, our master in communication Emily supports the idea and she even says she likes the actress and her roles. When the said actress runs away from the meeting with the expensive watch on her wrist to hit the town, Emily is all doe-eyed and surprised. Didn’t this communication mastermind predict the actress is quite young, therefore thoughtless and eager for some sponsored fun? They almost lose the very expensive watch and the client because of the actress’s recklessness. And why on Earth Emily, without any second thought, immediately agrees to sign the papers to make herself in charge of the watch?

11 Sublime&Silence*

Emily is impulsive and seems like a force of nature sometimes, but, as a master in communication, she should probably know something about the rules of loyalty. If she works for the agency which broke up the cooperation with some brand, she should consult her plans to win the client back with her boss. But, as you may guess, she doesn’t. Instead, she goes to the event for influencers and lures the cosmetic brand creator (and former “Savoir” client) with a really bad Instagram post about lipstick. In other words, she eats the fruit from the decoration and throws the word “berry” instead of “very” in the sentence. But hey, she was considered the most clever from the whole influencers bunch, mostly because her competition was a dog with its account and a Spanish lady, a producer of anti-fungus yoga pants or something.

12 Tourner dans la vide*

Why everything in “Emily…” is easily solved with one tweet or post? In real life, we prepare long-run strategies and tactics for Facebook, Instagram, and more channels, if needed. But in the “Emily…” world, it always takes one good shot to set up the tone for the whole communication. When Emily is condemned by her bossy boss to run a social media campaign for a woman lubricant, she creates only one post about the intimate, anatomical word which should be feminine but it’s masculine in French, then it goes viral and she’s happy with her work. The world is saved, famous politician re-tweets it (or re-twats, as it was put in the movie, gross) and thank you, next. In the real-life tho, no brand manager would invest its time, money, and energy in the cooperation which consists only of one winning post. Or maybe Savoir is all about RTMs now? In that case, I take it back.

Au grand jamais*

It seems I could go on forever on how weird and inappropriate the vision of advertising is in “Emily in Paris”, but it wouldn’t stop the creators from making the second season, wouldn’t it? I always wondered why the finest representation of our advertising work is just a bunch of flamboyant and eccentric people going for lunches, looking at their computer screens, and gossiping about affairs. This is the other thing I don’t know. Or maybe, I DO know. As much as our work is mostly happening in our minds, or consists of sticking to the white, clear sheet of paper for too long, nothing is appealing about it. There’s a need to add more drama and controversy to that for purely cinematic reasons. So yeah, this part is forgiven, but not forgotten. Please, for a thousand times please, make it more relevant this second time, ok? Surely there are many marketing consultants, eager to set things straight in the script. Not only in America, but in the whole of Europe. So, monsieur Star, if you ever need me, you’ll know where to find me.

*Did you figure out what songs serve as a commentary for each paragraph? Hopefully yeah, because otherwise, all the trick went for nothing:)

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