At first sight, Louise Delage is just a normal 25-year-old from Paris who likes posting pictures of herself on Instagram enjoying a meal at a restaurant.
Her profile gathered a staggering 66,000 followers in just over a month (she joined on Aug. 1). Delage’s pictures of hanging out with friends, captioned with an insane amount of hashtags, received as many as 50 likes per day.
There’s only one little caveat: Delage is not real.
On 22 Sept. she posted a video clip that revealed she was just the product of the campaign “Like my addiction” by advertising agency BETC.
In the last of the Instagram videos, all 150 of Delage’s photos are played in sequence, one after the other, with the focus narrowing on the alcoholic drinks she is consuming.
It turns out that in (almost) every picture of her fake profile, the Parisian is enjoying a drink be it a glass of ros, a cocktail or a bottle of beer.
The campaign was created for Addicte Aide, which aims to raise awareness about alcoholism among young people.
BETC Paris president and creative director Stphane Xiberras told Adweek that the agency had been briefed “on the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you a friend, a child or a parent.”
“We thought an interesting way of showing it would be to create a person people would meet every day but whom we’d never suspect of being an addict, by setting up a fake Instagram account,” he said.
Xiberras’ team posted two-to-three posts per day at high-traffic moments. The agency also studied fashion bloggers to incorporate habits and filters they commonly use.
At least 20 fashion or food-related hashtags were included in each post and a highly efficient bot was created to like and follow specific people such as women interested in fashion bloggers, journalists and celebrities.
Another part of the social media strategy was to create a “KOL [Key Opinion Leader] strategy” using influencers or hubs with 20,000 to 100,000 followers, who were able to “spread the Louise Delage profile among their own followers.”
It looks like it worked: Addict Aide saw five times more traffic on its site and the story became a TT on Twitter in France. The video had 500,000 views across all social media.
“Hopefully the campaign has served as an eye-opener for some,” Xiberras said. “I hope they will contact Addict Aide or other local organisations working to help people struggling with addiction.”
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