Louise Delange - The Instagram Imposter with An Important Lesson for Us All

Some people just get Instagram. With little clear effort or any kind of USP, they seem to gain followers like the rest of us gain debt, or reminders of the futility of our existence. The cues are often the same - exotic locales, food that looks like art, art that looks like food, 800 poses all with the same facial expression, and more hashtags than a fight scene in an old-timey cartoon.

Such is the case with Louise Delage's account, glitz, glamour, expensive-looking sunglasses, the works. It does the job, every photo on her account has 39,00 followers, hundreds of likes and dozens of comments. There's one other crucial thing though - there's an alcoholic beverage in every single shot. It might be a glass in Louise's hand, or a bottle in the background, but it's there.

A photo posted by Louise Delage (@louise.delage) on

This is an unsettling thing to notice, and it's meant to be, since Louise Delange isn't actually a real person, she's a PSA. She was conjured up by Parisian ad agency BETC for a campaign called 'Like My Addiction'. Last Friday, the rug was pulled with the release of a YouTube video which clarifies the true purpose of the account. It ends with the caption - "It's easy to miss the addiction of someone else", and a link to Addict Aide, the charity the campaign was produced for.

If you haven't figured it out already, the central message is that you should pay closer attention to social media activity, as even the act of liking a photo could potentially be a form of enabling. If Louise was a real person, the popularity of her booze-soaked pics could have been feeding her alcoholism.

In order to pull this off, BETC had to do massive amount of research into Instagram trends, building an account that they new would gain tens of thousands of followers in a matter of only 2 months. The account posted 2 or 3 images per day, each one brimming with hashtags relating to all the pertinent topics.

It clearly paid off, as the story trended on Twitter shortly after the reveal and developed a great deal of social media buzz. Perhaps the most amazing thing was that none of this work was paid for through sponsorship or boosting, all just research and work. The failure of it, according to those involved, was that more people didn't notice before the big reveal. In a way, that just demonstrates how necessary campaigns like these are, and how many lives could be saved if people learnt to take more notice.

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