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 rosé, 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 Stéphane 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.