How to Go Viral on Instagram (With Booze)

@louise.delage
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An alcoholism awareness campaign harnesses the power of suggestion and social media.

Since Louise Delage joined Instagram on August 1, she's posted 150 images of her jet-setting seemingly perfect life—and accrued nearly 70,000 followers. Jealous of her insta-fame? Don't be. Delage isn't real—and even her fictional life isn't as enviable once you notice that she's holding an alcoholic drink in every single scenario.

Created by Paris-based agency BETC as part of a campaign called "Like My Addiction," Delage is a faux persona who's also a textbook alcoholic.

"We were briefed on the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you—a friend, a child, a parent," Creative Director Stephane Xiberras told AdWeek. "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."

Delage's true purpose was revealed on YouTube last week:

As for how the ad agency created this level of buzz and social following over such a short period of time? Turns out the path to Instagram fame is quite formulaic: posting two or three photos each day at peak traffic times, including 20 to 30 relevant hashtags per post to increase chances of discoverability, and setting up a bot to help the Delage account follow specific algorithm-friendly people—"like women interested in fashion bloggers, journalists, and celebrities," Xiberras said. The agency also engaged key opinion leaders and influencers in the teen demographic to create buzz around Delage. And voila! 70,000 followers.

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