Meet Louise Delage, an 25-year-old French model who quickly became an Instagram sensation after posting snaps of her lavish lifestyle.
Delage joined Instagram in August, it wasn’t long before she’d attracted more than 50,000 followers.
And it’s hardly surprising. The posts were classic Instagram fodder - photos of boat parties, beach holidays and enjoying an active social life with friends - all of which we lap up like kittens and milk.
But then the account turned out to be a fake.
While the woman is indeed a 25-year-old French model, the account was set-up to send an important message.
To have the greatest impact, all photos were cleverly staged to have something very subtle in common.
Whether Delage is lounging on a beach or in her bedroom, she always has a drink nearby.
The account was set-up to highlight the issue of hidden alcoholism and addiction, and how it can be easily overlooked and concealed.
The campaign was created by Parisian ad agency, BETC, as part of Addict Aide’s ‘Like My Addiction’ campaign.
Last week, the account posted a video revealing the truth about the account, explaining that one might risk not just missing a person’s addiction but inadvertently encouraging it with ‘likes’.
BETC president and creative director Stéphane Xiberras Paris toldAdFreak: “We were briefed on the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you—a friend, a child or a paren. 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.”
However, Mr Paris wanted that the campaign would be more effective.
“We hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise’s behaviour,” he said. “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.”
“Sometimes it seems like in this era, the more people stage their ideal life on social media, the more that serves to hide a not-so-ideal reality.”