Emily in Paris: Product placement goes meta
May 5th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Emily in Paris: Product placement goes meta

Emily in Paris is a rich opportunity for luxury product placement. It’s a hit show, set in Paris and it puts fashion front and centre. What’s more, there’s a meta twist when it comes to branding. Protagonist Emily Cooper is a marketing executive who works on fictional brand partnerships in the show, which are sometimes the basis of real-world relationships between those same brands and the show itself.

In Season 2, Emily works on a partnership between the fictional designer Pierre Cadault and real-life luggage brand Rimowa. Although Cadault is a character in the show, Rimowa is seeing real-world benefits from the exposure. The suitcase maker’s chief marketing officer, Emelie de Vitis, says that site traffic for the brand “immediately skyrocketed,” after the release of the episodes that included the brand. Increased web traffic is good news for Rimowa, but YouGov tools can give even more granular insight into the effect of their product placement.

YouGov Signal is a social listening tool that tracks the performance of entities that include TV, movies, brands. It assigns an Appetite Score of 0-100 which measures how much interest there is for these entities online based on a combination of web searches and Wikipedia lookups.

Data from Signal confirms de Vitis’s sense that Rimowa’s placement strategy is working. In the month after the release of Season 2, Appetite for the upscale luggage brand rose in seven out of eight markets monitored compared to the month before.

Not only has appetite for Rimowa risen, but there is a significant Affinity between the two brands. Affinity is a metric, tracked by Signal, that measures how likely audiences who engage with one brand are to engage with another. The affinity of those who engaged with Emily in Paris for Rimowa is 5.91. This means that, over the past year, Americans who engaged with Rimowa online were 5.91x more likely to engage with Emily in Paris.

This is all good evidence of an effective placement partnership, but what, in dollar terms, was it worth? YouGov Stream: PQS (Placement Quality Scoring) is a valuation tool which calculates the value of product placements based on factors such as the market-rate CPT, size of the audience, prominence of the brand and time on-screen.

All other things being equal, a placement that shows a brand in a positive light is going to be worth more than a placement which depicts a brand negatively. Likewise, a placement that lasts 20 seconds will be worth more than one that lasts three seconds. The value assigned is based on what a brand would have paid for the exposure in the current market (not the eventual benefits accruing from the campaign).

In the US alone, YouGov PQS values the season two Rimowa placements at $1,420,480 as of March 17, 2023. Across all eight markets tracked, the value of the placement is $3,394,961. What’s more, the show has been renewed for a fourth season, set for release this winter. Since viewers tend to rewatch old episodes to catch up, the brands on the show can expect a further publicity boost when it drops.

Rimowa knew they were being in the show, but sometimes placement comes as a surprise. A spokesperson for Belgian pet food brand Edgard and Cooper says “we fell out of our seats” when they saw they had been featured as another of Emily’s marketing campaigns. The company, which provides healthy food for dogs, called the surprise appearance “a really nice Christmas present.”

According to PQS, it was also a very valuable present, worth $712,897 across all markets monitored.

Appetite scores for Edgard & Cooper leapt in four of the six markets monitored in the month after the season was released which seems to confirm that the placement was providing value for the brand. The small pet food company does not (yet) operate in all of these markets but the exposure in Emily in Paris may benefit them if they choose to expand.

Signal combines A.I. with digital, social, survey and marketing data collected across 42 territories to create insights, recommendations and strategies for our clients. We help discover your different audiences, track their demand for content, and market to them more efficiently.

YouGov PQS takes YouGov Stream audience data and applies our consistent product placement exposure monitoring and valuation methodology to provide a placement value for brands that feature in content, as well as providing demographic insights into the beliefs, habits, and opinions of the viewers of the placements.