Instagram Campaign Unlike the Others
In a sea of fake accounts and fake social media lives, recently one really stood out. According to her Instagram caption, Louise Delage is a 25 year old Parisian enjoying life. Her Instagram feed is filled with beautiful photos of herself and her friends out on the town, enjoying dinner parties, sunbathing by private pools in Saint-Tropez or lounging on yachts – living picture-perfect life and toasting to it with champagne. It is no wonder she quickly acquired a large number of followers. In just a little over a month, Delage succeeded in accumulating nearly 65 000 followers and her stylish photos attracted hundreds of likes. Who wouldn’t like her sun-soaked smiles complemented with a glass of rosé or white wine?
Aside from her perfect pictures, Louise didn’t provide much personal information so her followers assumed she was just a chic French girl. They were far from the truth. On 22 September, after a month and a half of using Instagram, Delage made her last post to Instagram: a video clip, revealing her to be the creation of the advertising agency BETC, and the star of their “Like my addiction” campaign. The campaign was created for Addict Aide, an organisation that seeks to raise awareness of alcoholism among young people.
Stéphane Xiberras, creative director and president of BETC Paris, said that the agency had been struck by “the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you.” The fake Instagram account aimed to show “a person people would meet every day but whom we’d never suspect of being an addict”. And truly, almost none of her 65 000 followers didn’t seem to notice the link between all the photos; in every single one (and there were 150) she was pictured with alcohol.
This smart campaign aiming to open people’s eyes to their own substance issues or prompting them to help a friend or loved one who has a problem was made by excellent PR experts. The team posted two to three posts per day at high-traffic moments – in the morning, at lunchtime and late at night, “when people are stalking others”. BETC also studied fashion bloggers, including their attitude and the filters and hashtags they use the most. They even set a bot to like and follow specific people like women interested in fashion bloggers, journalists and celebrities so that Louise’s account could get more recognition.
All told, however, Xiberras feels Louise could have done better. “We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise’s behavior,” he says. “There were a few people who sensed the trap – a journalist among others, of course – but in the end, the majority just saw a pretty young girl of her time and not at all a kind of lonely girl, who is actually not that happy and with a serious alcohol problem.” Although many didn’t notice the campaign while Louise was active on Instagram, the final post, the big reveal, has had more than 280 000 views and generated more than 1000 comments. The same video on YouTube has been viewed on YouTube almost 1 000 000 times. People are now talking about it and spreading awareness – making it able for the campaign to open the eyes of thousands. it is safe to say the campaign was a success and we can only hope we will encounter more interesting campaigns like this one in the future.