What’s next for Louise Delage?
Have you heard of her?
No one had before August this year, but in just a couple of months she’s become well-known on social media.
She’s certainly been a talking point in the marketing and comms industry recently.
Her Instagram profile garnered 101,000 followers in less than three weeks (having only joined at the start of August). And her hashtag-frenzied selfies earn more than 50,000 likes every time.
When you scroll through her feed, this 25-year-old appears to epitomise French chic. It’s full of pictures of her at a variety of parties, social gatherings and interesting places. Even when she’s not partying, her stylish clothes, make up and alluring poses captivate you and draw you into her world.
Not only is there instant admiration of her gorgeous looks and lifestyle, there’s also the slight envy of her ability to go from zero to Instagram hero in a matter of weeks.
But, in what turned out to be her final snap on Instagram on September 22, it emerged that the lovely Lousie was, in fact, a fictional character at the heart of an awareness campaign designed by a Parisian ad agency, BETC.
In a really nicely-executed and engaging video, it was explained that it was all part of a campaign called “Like My Addiction,” and the fake account was about raising awareness of alcohol addiction among young people for an organisation called Addict Aide.
And it’s only on closer inspection that you realise that alcohol features in nearly every picture, from midnight partying and cosy weekends camping in the woods, through to cafe lunches and lazy evenings at home. In fact, there are few images of her without a drink.
When you look at the strategy and execution of the campaign, there are few who could criticise the sheer marketing genius involved.
Without doubt it is impactful, and reminds us of the power and influence that social media platforms, such as Instagram, can have in our society.
The “reveal” video clip has currently amassed 232,000 views on Instagram and 755,000 views on YouTube and, weeks after its posting, these numbers are continuing to grow. And it’s certainly captured the attention and respect of our industry with the engagement it has secured so far.
But what’s next?
It’s had a lot of coverage in the marketing press, and is starting to be picked up by the mainstream media. But the real question is, what cut-through will this have with the general consumer? And will this raised awareness actually have an impact on, and influence, behaviour?
An effective campaign needs to take that initial heightened awareness and engagement and turn it into behavioural change. It shouldn’t be a one-trick-pony that everyone talks about for a couple of weeks and then forgets.
The point of the fake ‘Louise’ campaign was, of course, to highlight how easy it is not to notice someone’s addiction.
And while I think we’re starting to see it fuel a debate about social alcoholism among those in their 20s, it is the next part of the strategy that will decide whether it’s a truly brilliant campaign.
BETC and Addict Aide need to use this as a platform to influence people’s mindsets and behaviours, and to turn that awareness and engagement into support and advocacy.
They need to be mindful of the risk that the really important message – to contact Addict Aide or other organisations working to help people struggling with addictions – will be overshadowed and lost in the noise.
Social media is one of the greatest tools you can use to spread awareness quickly and build an audience, and so far this campaign has used it to full effect.
At the last check Louise’s account was still active, and I really hope that Addict Aide continue to post to the account (sans alcohol).
Wouldn’t it be good if those amazing engagement figures actually translated into the number of lives, or lifestyles, changed as a result of the fictitious Louise?
If the messages can influence behaviour, I think that would make a brilliant piece of marketing become a genuinely inspirational and effective campaign for change.