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Lily Collins as Emily in episode 209 of Emily in Paris
Lily Collins as Emily in episode 209 of Emily in Paris
Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix
Career > Work

Why “Emily In Paris” Is A Great Example Of What It Means To Be An Ambitious Woman

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Comedy-drama “Emily In Paris” aired on Netflix in the fall of 2020 and gained immense popularity when its second season came out this past December. The main character, Emily Cooper, is a marketing executive from Chicago that switches gears when she takes on the charming, but the overwhelming city of Paris. She provides an American perspective on the French business world at a marketing firm known as Savoir.

“Hmm, I need a new show to watch.” I thought this to myself as I mindlessly scrolled through Netflix stuck with COVID this past winter break. “Not “New Girl,” seen that. Well, not “Grey’s Anatomy” either, can’t rewatch that again. Oh wait what’s this? “Emily In Paris?”

I reluctantly clicked on the first episode, in fear it would be just about Lily Collins galavanting through “the city of light” and nothing more. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see how ambitious and work-driven she was portrayed in the series.

Although her character faced lots of controversy in the entertainment world and critics found her both “problematic” and “lacking depth.” I couldn’t help but notice her swiftness with social media and the marketing skills she possessed.

On her first day, Cooper was extremely taken aback by how differently things were run in Paris. They don’t normally utilize social media to market and promote products for their clients, but rather an “underground marketing” strategy. In Savoir’s eyes, they believe in quality over quantity.

Cooper didn’t take this lightly, she explained that this method would not benefit the firm in the long run and kept pushing for a social media component to incorporate into their business. This small example is just one of many ways Emily’s outspoken and persistent nature makes her the pioneering marketer she strives to be.


Emily In Paris/Netflix

Not Taking “No” For An Answer

Despite the fact that she was discouraged from using social media to elevate Savoir’s image, Cooper was not going to take “no” for an answer. Instead, she goes against the firm’s wishes and gains an immense amount of followers on her Instagram in what appears to be overnight.

Posting pictures of her life in Paris with hashtags and live streaming events is what evidently resulted in partnerships with brands and other clients to come forward and further benefit Savoir.

Once again, in the second season, she uses her following to help promote a friend’s restaurant opening which turned out to be a huge success, all with the help of a little social media.

Teamwork is Dreamwork

Although Emily is persistent in maintaining her independence, she’s adamant about teamwork. Cooper never forgets to remind her aloof boss, Sylvie, that there’s no “I” in team. She offers that Savoir should exist not alone but as a unit. After all, teamwork is dreamwork and Cooper believes multiple opinions and perspective will benefit their clients the most.

Emily in Paris/Netflix


In Season 1, Episode 3, Emily is accompanying Savoir at a commercial shoot to provide any sentiments from her “American perspective.” The commercial is part of the “Dream Of Beauty” campaign and consists of a naked woman wearing the company’s perfume as she walks across a bridge with men in suits in awe as she passes by.

Antoine Lambert, the owner of Masion Lavaux argues that this is the best way to market his new perfume. He believes that this commercial represents every woman’s fantasy and that all women want to be desired. However, Cooper does not forget to voice her own disapproval. She explains that this will not reach the female demographic in a positive way, but instead portrays sexist ideals.

Consequently, Emily uses her inventiveness to pull a 360 on the commercial shoot and completely redefine it. She does this by letting the women of Paris decide on a Twitter poll if this commercial is “sexy or sexist.”

Going The Extra Mile

Cooper is aware that her lack of French speaking skills is only going to hold her back. As a result, she demonstrates her dedication by attending classes after work and sharpening her French in order to be more versatile in this business. She isn’t afraid to ask for tips from fellow colleagues on how she should dress and act to help up her game even more.

If you’ve seen the show, or gotten a chance to watch it, you’ll understand Emily does have lots of shortcomings, but all in all, I can’t fault her for the persistence and determination she possesses throughout the entire series. She doesn’t let failure discourage her from improving her marketing career and always putting in 100% of her effort. No matter what career path you’re on, at the end of the day, we can all learn a little something from Emily Cooper.

Vanessa Hohner is currently a first-year student minoring in Journalism at Penn State. She loves all things writing and has a special place in her heart for reality TV.