Battle for Time: Overnight Instagram Success of louise.delage

October 5, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai


A picturesque backdrop. An angle that naturally contours the face. Lighting that’s “on fleek.” Just a few requirements when it comes to nailing an Instagram post.

People everywhere (you too, admit it) love following those overnight Instagram successes. She or he might be a blogger or they might just be someone who happens to live a luxe life.

We aspire to be them, we take inspiration from them, we follow their travels.

If there’s a glass or bottle of something fun on hand, even better. Instagram user @louise.delage knows this well.


Take a closer look at her photos. Notice what happens to be in every single photo? Paris agency BETC wants you to pick up on it.

In fact, they want you to notice the signs of alcoholism in young people.

This is what captured our minutes this week.

Here’s why:

1. This campaign is incredibly smart, for several reasons.

Firstly, it employed incredible subtlety. The bottle of beer, glass of wine, etc. was never ever featured prominently on any of the posts.

Much like alcoholism itself, it lingered in the background without necessarily being completely visible. This was the point of BETC’s work for Addict Aide, a company that offers resources and assistance for those who are worried for their own habits or someone else’s. Not everyone knows the signs of alcoholism, nor will everyone know the signs in their own friends or family.

With comments like “trop jolie” (very pretty), it’s clear the point was proven early on.

Not to mention, this meant longevity for the campaign. Fictional Louise appeared August 1st. She wasn’t revealed until September 30th.

The next great aspect of this campaign is how much research and planning went into it. It wasn’t just “let’s take some pretty pictures and hope they take off.”

No, BETC skilfully used content, hashtags, bots and influencers to make Louise take off in such a short period of time.

They researched the hell out of key target audiences and made sure that every single approach made sense and was specific.

THAT is how you make key details work for you, folks.

2. The reaction produced from this campaign is what it means to stir your audience to action.

According to AdWeek, which did a detailed case study on this campaign, the aftermath of @louise.delage was huge. Addict Aide had 5 times more traffic than usual on its site, the story saw 140 follow-up articles, was trending on Twitter, and Louise’s reveal video had 500,000 video views across multiple platforms.

This happened with quote, “zero media investment.”

It’s safe to say people were stirred, shocked and surprised by the reveal.

Often, conversions or transactions are seen in the literal sense of people buying things.

However, maybe it’s making people feel something or do something about what they’ve seen.

Whether or not people remember the impact they felt from this campaign, people obviously clicked through to learn more about alcoholism and how to identify it.

This was the goal. All those numbers prove the goal was reached.

3. BETC was completely honest about the calibre of their work.

BETC president and creative director Stéphane Xiberras openly admitted the following after all was said and done: “we hoped for more followers to take notice of Louise’s behaviour…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.”

Hold up: we just said that this campaign saw action and results. However, BETC had the guts to admit that they wished those results had been felt before the reveal happened.

Xiberras mentioned that a few picked up on the cues, but that most of the reactions didn’t happen until after the fact.

For an agency to do that much work and plan so extensively but still admit that they could have done better, is huge.

That’s work with integrity.

Overall, BETC had us fooled, and in the best way possible. This skilful use of subtlety to achieve a huge impact is exactly what it means to create meaningful content.

Round of applause for BETC.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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