This Instagram influencer isn't what you think
Poses in front of graffiti walls. Laughing with friends on a yacht. Dinner parties and visits to a fair... it seems like 25 year-old Parisian Louise Delage has the perfect instagrammable life.
And the 65,000 followers she amassed in a month seem to agree.
Except it's not real. Neither is Louise Delage. The instagram influencer is the creation of an advertising agency BETC, and part of a campaign titled "Like my addiction" for Addict Aide, an organisation raising awareness of alcoholism in young people.
In her last post, the account outs Louise with a video clip that flashes through her photos instantly showing just how much alcohol is a factor in her life. The aim was to show "a person people would meet every day but whom we'd never suspect of being an addict".
The campaign is admirable - but so is the science behind it. Amassing a following of 65,000 in a month was the result of an elaborate acquisition strategy.
Stéphane Xiberras, creative director and president of BETC Paris, told AdFreak that the campaign was built around four pillars: content, hashtags, bots and a key opinion leader strategy.
The team posted two to three posts per day, generally in the morning, around noon and late at night, "when people are stalking others." The habits, filters, and attitude of fashion bloggers was also carefully studied and emulated.
To help the content get noticed, many posts included a multitude of hashtags popular among the campaign's target audience.
The team then set up a well-known bot to like and follow women interested in fashion bloggers, journalists and celebrities. Then the team used key teenage influencers with 20,000 to 100,000 followers to spread the Louise Delage's profile.
The result was an account that now has 73.7 thousand followers, and more than 182 thousand views of the final video with the key message about alcohol addiction. In the hours after the video was posted Addict Aide website traffic increased five fold and the story became a trending topic on Twitter in France. However, Xiberras told AdFreak that he expected Louise to do more.
"We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise's behaviour. 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 at all that happy and with a serious alcohol problem."
The fact people missed that point shows why this campaign is so effective. I can't be the only person who has scrolled back through the posts playing a game of Where's Wally with alcohol.
It is also rare for an advertising agency to so candidly share their playbook as well. I expect to see copycat campaigns in the near future. Which may prompt insta users to become even more cynical about influencers.
What do you think?