Emily In Paris Has Been Crowned The Biggest Influencer On Our Screens

By Pamela Connellan
on 11 February 2023

New research has found which characters from our favourite TV shows or movies are the most inspiring to us and Emily in Paris has proved the most influential show with its star – Emily Cooper – the most influential character.

This was achieved by taking a look at the jobs held by the main characters featured in over 200 popular TV shows and films, and an analysis to identify any related uptick in interest from viewers inspired by these characters. 

Each character was then awarded an influence score, reflecting changes in search interest after each TV show/film debuted – and this showed who were the the biggest onscreen inspirations.  

All of this showed that Chicago marketing exec, Emily Cooper, is the most inspiring figure, with many Emily in Paris fans looking to follow in her footsteps. 

After the first episode of Emily in Paris aired back in October 2020, Google searches for ‘marketing executive jobs’ increased by 9,900% in the first 24 hours, awarding Emily Cooper the highest influence score of all 200+ figures analysed.  

Fans weren’t just interested in Emily’s career either, as searches for ‘marketing jobs in Paris’ also saw a significant increase (up 3,500%) across the same period.  

In fact, media-based jobs proved particularly popular with viewers anytime they were portrayed onscreen, with searches for ‘journalism jobs’ also rising 9,900% after Netflix drama The Journalist hit screens early last year and the character of Anna Matsuda inspired a lot of people.

The Journalist
The character of Anna Matsuda in The Journalist inspired a lot of people with searches for ‘journalism jobs’ rising 9.9% after this Netflix drama hit our screens.

Another standout rise in interest was attributed to The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), which saw searches for ‘stockbroker jobs’ skyrocket, alongside searches for ‘Wall Street’ jobs’ – despite main figure Jordan Belfort’s career falling apart and resulting in jail time.   

Other figures who struck a chord with fans were folk musician Colm Doherty from The Banshees of Insherin, which resulted in a rise in searches for ‘how to learn music’, as well as Glass Onion’s Benoit Blanc, who inspired an influx of interest around private investigators.  

Here’s a list of the top 15 most influential pop culture figures: 

            #         TV Show/Film         Main Character         Job         Influence Score* 
        1     Emily in Paris     Emily Cooper     Marketing Executive     9.9 /10 
        2     The Wolf of Wall Street     Jordan Belfort     Stockbroker     9.8 /10 
        3     Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery     Benoit Blanc     Private Investigator     9.7 /10 
        4     The Banshees of Inisherin     Colm Doherty     Folk Musician     9.5 /10 
        5     The Journalist     Anna Matsuda     Journalist     9.3 /10 
        6     Nightcrawler     Louis Bloom     Photojournalist     9.2 /10 
        7     The Grand Budapest Hotel     Monsieur Gustave     Concierge     8.9 /10 
        8     Selling Sunset     Chrishell Stause     Real Estate Agent     8.1 /10 
        9     The Theory of Everything     Stephen Hawking     Theoretical Physicist     7.8 /10 
        10     The Control Room     Gabe     Call Handler     6.7 /10 
        11     Line of Duty     Steve Arnott     Detective Inspector     6.5 /10 
        12     Archive 81     Dan Turner     Archivist     5.8 /10 
        13     The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel     Miriam Maisel     Comedian     5.6 /10 
        14     Inventing Anna     Vivian Kent     Journalist     5.5 /10 
        15     The Devil Wears Prada     Andrea Sachs     Personal Assistant     5.3 /10 

*Additional weighting was given to TV shows/films that saw a rise in interest across multiple job-related search terms, as opposed to just one. 

What were the five job roles which inspired the most searches?

Whilst some figures proved much more inspiring than others, some professions resulted in consistent upticks in interest whenever they were portrayed onscreen. When grouped together, the five job roles that inspired the most searches came out as: 

  1. Detective  
  2. Journalist 
  3. Musician 
  4. Secret Agent 
  5. Chef 

Not all of the popular TV shows and films had jobs that peaked viewers’ interest – with astronauts, paramedics, office workers and cleaners prompting no rise in job searches.  

Another under-represented and fairly undesirable job role was teacher, with only Jessica Day from sitcom New Girl prompting a small increase in searches (60% increase).  

Emily in Paris
After the first episode of Emily in Paris aired back in October 2020, Google searches for ‘marketing executive jobs’ increased by 9,900% in the first 24 hours.

Speaking on the findings, Slotbox stated: “People look for inspiration in all sorts of places, so it stands to reason that for some, the media they consume and the figures they relate to go some way to helping them figure out what passions they’d like to pursue – including career. 

“A lot of TV shows and films these days are centered around lawyers – including Suits, She-Hulk and The Lincoln Lawyer – and figures are often portrayed as extremely driven, passionate and glamorous, so we’d have expected that to be the most-inspiration profession. 

“However, it’s much more relatable that people are most intrigued by detective and investigator roles. After all, we’ve all played armchair detectives when watching TV!” 

Interestingly, the research also found there’s a fairly even gender split when it comes to which figures are the most inspiring career-wise, with 46% being female and 54% male.  

Sources: Google Trends, IMDb Top 100 TV Shows and Top 100 Films lists. Search volume and TV/film release dates used were from the UK.  

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