Louise Delage’s Instagram has everything you’d expect from a social media celebrity. 65,000 followers and 150 perfectly filtered snapshots of a glam Parisian’s enviable life: Emerging from a pool with a glass of wine. Hanging with friends, drinking wine. Hanging out with wine. Accessorising her outfit with wine.
Of course, Louise is an alcoholic. Her final post explains that her entire feed was constructed as a campaign for Addict Aide, an organisation trying to raise awareness in young people. “Like my addiction” it says. And it’s done well, metrically speaking. The reveal got the press talking, and plenty are praising the smartness of the idea. But is being smart enough?
The creative director behind the campaign admits disappointment that more people hadn’t picked up on Louise’s serious problem. And I’ll admit that she made it look…appealing. That’s what Instagram does, after all. Even the grotesque wealth of the ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’ looks good in Valencia, and most of us accept that we aren’t following real, complex people – we’re following personas. 2D characters. Why else would trolling be so prolific?
A more successful version of this idea is the art project by Amalia Ulman, whose own scripted Instagram fooled thousands. You can read about it here.