Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marketing 101

After one and a half months in Paris I should probably be posting pictures of Parisian sites - Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the shoe store by us where I covet nearly everything.  Instead, I thought I'd put my Kellogg marketing training to use and dissect a sign which has amused me the whole time we've been in Paris.

Ok, let's start with the circles in the center, which I've helpfully linked with a line for you.  
     - Left center circle: Union Jack on tongue
     - Right center circle: Wall Street reference
I guess the Wall Street Institute is so busy teaching English that they can't be bothered with geography.

Let's move down to the tiny circle in the center of the same ad.  That is a footnote.  Why does an ad need a footnote you may wonder.  Well, if you are trying to reach an audience that is looking to learn English, then perhaps running your ad in English is not the best idea.  Consequently, the Wall Street Institute has had to add a translation at the bottom of their ad...thus the footnote.

Now let's head right to the ad that has likely been distracting about 50% of you.  In this case the lingerie model is actually selling lingerie, but I understand if you're confused.  Here in France lingerie models are used to sell everything from diet pills to toilet cleaner.  (Note: If you are thinking that this happens in the US as well, I can assure you that it is much more egregious here in France.)  Heck, when you have grandparents making out on the Metro you have to do something to catch people's attention.  Actually, I guess all the loving going on in the Metro makes the placement of this lingerie ad pretty fabulous.

And finally, moving all the way to left to the lovely woman standing against the half wall.  She has absolutely nothing to do with either of these ads, but since she happened to be in my picture I thought I'd point out the Parisian uniform du jour:
     1.)  Black tights with boots
     2.)  Mini skirt (typically jean) / short shorts
     3.)  Intricately wrapped scarf
I'm certain that in that large purse she is carrying around the requisite pack of cigarettes.  Sadly though, if she's looking to learn English I'm guessing the sign in front of her is of no use.


  1. Your Kellog marketing training should have got you to research the fact that the Wall Street Institute is the most successful chain of English schools in France so their ad must be working.

    As an English school addressing french speakers they use phrases that every French person has heard: Do you speak English? This is THEIR problem. Then they provide the SOLUTION: I Speak Wall Street English! ....which solves the reader's problem and BRANDS the solution to Wall Street.

    Basic but extremely successful campaign.

  2. The Wall Street Institute is an interesting hodge-podge of English mess. In Leipzig Germany, the WSI had a couple of MINI Cooper's with the Union Jack flag painted on the roof.

    In addition, while they tout learning Wall Street english, most Europeans prefer to learn the Queen's language as they prefer the sound of it to our less educated sounding American English. At least that's what a lot of people in Germany said to me. The Queen's english just sounds better! Haha!

  3. Having spent several years on Wall Street, I'm surprised the company has chosen "Wall Street" as part of their brand...bankers and traders are not exactly known for their English skills. I suppose Wall Street is distinctly American (and associated with intellectuals), but it's quite misleading. Why not the New York Times Institute? Now if they were advertising a spreadsheet modeling class, I would understand.