Is marketing in Paris different? I mean "different" from your norm, from what you're used to.
For me, normal translates into the western culture where the customer is always right, where marketing is traditionally based on interruption, and where a shift is currently in progress that focuses on instantaneous information and media founded upon the ever-more prominent role of the Internet. Essentially, if it's not online, in some capacity, it's not worth caring about. I believe that sentiment to be more than accurate, particularly for Western Gen Yers.
I recently came back from a majestic trip to the Land of Lights and Romance: Paris. A stark difference in culture, no doubt, but notable similarities abound. Caught up in a whirlwind of sightseeing, it was difficult to stop and look. To pay attention to my surroundings and the variety of ways I was being marketed to -- in predominantly traditional ways since I had left myself mostly detached from technology.
From the subway to the street corners to the buildings themselves, just like in our own major cities, marketing is ubiquitous.
These pictures I especially adore. The ones featuring Kylie and the air-born horse are exciting because they are always rotating through different ads in Rolodex style, never staying on a single image too long, indicating that the need for continuous change, for the ongoing refreshment of information and media is integral to maintaining the audience's interest.
Just take a stroll down the Champs-Élysées, and your eyes will feast upon grandiose storefronts with no lack of bright signs and expensive merchandise. A city clearly defined by an unspoken status system -- perhaps the brighter the lights, the bigger the signs, the more imperial the design, then the more Parisians will flock.
But what I didn't get to experience was the technological side of it, though I am certain it plays a heavy role in the Parisians' marketing mix. How do I know? Mobile devices and smartphones are equally as common there as they are here, at least from what I observed with the naked eye.
But after a week of observing their culture, I realized a notable difference: Parisians seemed to tend towards a more solitary existence. They are perhaps our less social but equally technologically-savvy counterparts. The smartphone in its ubiquity is a token of their lifestyle, their mode of receiving information, and, I posit, of being marketed to.
Paris, a city with an immeasurable amount of history, is a conglomerate of fast-moving, self-conscious bodies driven by a strong, well-defined culture. Not unlike Toronto, it possesses an indescribable quality of high status and a bourgeois tendency that makes me wonder if the the ads and the tech and the flashy lights even matter at all. I wouldn't be surprised if the real construct of Parisian marketing lies within the Parisians themselves and word of mouth.