Who Is Louise Delage? The Troubling Truth Behind an Overnight Instagram Success

We all know a girl like Louise Delage. You’ve been on Instagram for years and are scraping by with 50 likes on a good day—then she appears on the scene, with her fun little life, and cultivates over 16,000 followers in a few months.

In the years following LonelyGirl15, we learned to be wary of that kind of success. Who is this girl, and what does she do? But “personal branding,” Instagram stardom and the overall pressure to demonstrate the most photogenic parts of our lives has perhaps blunted our critical knives. Aren’t we all stars for somebody? 

So when Louise Delage arrived on Instagram on Aug. 1, bearing drinks and a cheerful, sun-soaked smile, few wondered who she was. Many assumed she was one more chic Parisian. Maybe she had one of those depressed Instagram husbands whose sole role in life is to capture their muses for an insatiable audience.

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Droga5's First Work for HBO Is This Byzantine Instagram Contest for Hard-Core Fans

Exactly how obsessed are you with Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver? HBO tests the depths of your nerd knowledge in a new campaign from Droga5—the agency’s first work for the paid cable network—that sends you down a rabbit hole on Instagram, where you answer trivia to solve clues leading to fun prizes.

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Gap Baffles NASA Fans by Featuring the Space Shuttle in an Ad About 1969

Gap’s been running ads celebrating “iconic Americana moments” and playing up the chain’s founding in 1969. But one of its retro choices left NASA fans flummoxed.

A tweet from the recent campaign, posted on March 1, featured a photo of a space shuttle liftoff, emblazoned with the text “1969.” As any fan of space history knows, that was the year Apollo 11 went to the moon on a Saturn V rocket, more than a decade before the space shuttle made its debut.

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Man Poses as Target on Facebook, Trolls Haters of Its Gender-Neutral Move With Epic Replies

Brands can’t be as honest as they might like in dealing with haters on Facebook. But sometimes other Facebook users can do it for them.

That dynamic played out in particularly rogue fashion on Target’s Facebook page this week. As the retailer received a steady stream of nasty comments from people upset about its move toward gender-neutral in-store labeling, Facebook user Mike Melgaard posed as Target with a fake Facebook account—Ask ForHelp, with a bull’s-eye profile pic—and began excoriating the haters with comically sarcastic replies.

He got away with it for about 16 hours, too, commenting on about 50 posts before the fake account was shut down. Here are a few of his greatest hits:

Melgaard tells AdFreak that he was just surfing Facebook on Sunday night when he noticed that Target was moving away from gender-based labels in both the toy and children’s bedding sections.

“Immediately, I knew there would be your typical outraged American spouting emotional reactions on their Facebook page,” he says. “After taking a look, I was literally laughing out loud at my computer. A few more minutes in and it struck me how hilarious it would be to portray myself as a parody customer service rep. So, I did just that, and the rest was history. Honestly, it was like striking comedy gold. Every one of these people gave me the ammunition I needed for a great response.”

A self-described “pot-stirrer,” Melgaard says his stunt was more about the comedy than taking a stance on the issue. “I definitely side with Target and support their decision wholeheartedly,” he says. “That being said, this was, for me, more about the laughs. I absolutely love satirical humor, and I think America could use a little more laughter.”

Target is aware of Melgaard’s behavior but has not yet responded to AdFreak’s inquiries about it. For his part, Melgaard says he probably wasn’t doing the retailer any harm.

“Of course they could get upset,” Melgaard says, “but in this day and age I’m willing to bet their marketing team is intelligent enough to predict people like myself who come along to ‘stir the pot.’ I actually suspect that what I did shone an overall positive spotlight on Target.”

See more of Melgaard’s trolling below.

Old Spice Creates a Loony Sci-Fi 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Game on Instagram

Wieden + Kennedy has hacked the tagging function on Instagram to create an amusingly absurd “Choose your own adventure” social game for Old Spice, filled with robots, retro monsters and meta jokes.

The story opens with the post above. Clicking on it reveals tags that function as the navigation, leading to a maze of newly created Instagram accounts where the story continues. Clicking on the Old Spice body wash in the first scene reveals the first of many comical dead ends, from which you have to backtrack and continue.

The game is pretty much one big joke, undermining itself at every turn and parodying the genre rather than presenting a real “adventure.” The ending, in particular, is intentionally anticlimactic, centered on an inside joke about the ad budget for the project—very much in keeping with the brand’s self-aware ethos.

Give it a spin, or click here to choose a different AdFreak story.

This French Drink Brand Took 7 Days to Post the World's Slowest Facebook Status

Pulco, a French drink brand owned by Orangina Schweppes, is a default summer drink. (Because when else would you have a cool citrus-lemon beverage?) And amid an epic heatwave recently, it capitalized on that positioning with #LaParesseADuBon. Roughly translated to “Laziness can be good,” it encouraged people to relax and go slow—because what else is there to do when you see mirages while crossing the street?

Earlier this month, with help from agency Fred & Farid, it illustrated that premise by taking seven days to finish posting a single-line Facebook status update. The post unfolded word by word, and eventually read, “It’s too hot to work.”

And while it’s too late to watch it as it happened, you can see the painfully slow progression when you click on the post’s “Edited” button:

While it didn’t capture much attention outside the ad industry (which fawns over itself in France just as much as it does in the U.S.), this is a nice example of how creative can manipulate the mechanics of social platforms to produce something unique and playful—and which, in this case, loyally manifests the brand’s message.

It’s also a tribute to Pulco that it let an incomplete sentence stand for a week without freaking out. It doesn’t look like Pulco spends much, media buy wise, but the post scored at least twice as many likes as any number of its painstaking but minimalist image posts. It won’t win Lions or anything, but it’s evidence that while engagement might be low, the brand is willing to experiment and be a bit scrappy.

Seven days is apparently also a record for the longest amount of time it’s taken anyone, ever, to produce a single Facebook post (at least according to the agency and brand). Other examples of brands who’ve broken social media records, however contrived, can be found on RecordSetter.com’s Social Media World Records subsite.

Under Armour Honors Misty Copeland With Hashtag That Led to a Car Full of Flowers

Under Armour couldn’t sit idly by on Tuesday when Misty Copeland was named the first African American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history—not after the famous TV spot that helped burnish both dancer and brand.

The sports apparel brand organized a social congratulations campaign, beginning with this simple tweet:

Thousands of tweets later—including love notes from UA NFL star Eddie Lacy and Zappos—and the brand had an SUV full of flowers to deliver to Copeland, who was clearly thrilled by the gift.

More pics below.

Groupon Finds an Even More Ridiculous Product to Pretend Doesn't Look Sexual

Groupon sees your Banana Bunker and raises you a Bike Chain Wash and Scrub Kit.

That’s the latest phallic-looking product that the deal-of-the-day website has posted on its Facebook page, all but goading fans into making off-color jokes about it. And fans have been more than happy to oblige—with Groupon replying to scores of them, pretending not to know the Bike Chain Wash and Scrub Kit looks like a dude’s junk.

It’s basically the same schtick as the Banana Bunker post, just with more handjob jokes.

See below.

Nice Guys on Tinder Turn Nasty in This PSA Campaign About Domestic Violence

We’ve seen a few different Tinder hacks from marketers, but here’s an interesting one that gets at the heart of the dark side of relationships.

An organization called Women in Distress created fake profiles on the popular dating app for three different “abusers.” As users swiped through their photo albums, the guys went from nice to nasty, eventually going to far as to throw a punch.

The point, says ad agency Bravo/Y&R, is that even nice guys can become violent fast, and that women need to “look for help at the first sign of things turning ugly.”

There are certainly a few problems with the execution. The guys look a little cartoonish in the images. Plus, the whole thing is a bit spammy—and the lack of a trigger warning might be problematic. Still, it’s well intentioned and might get Tinder users thinking about what they really want out of a relationship.

Client: Women In Distress
Project: Tinder Beater
Agency: Bravo/Y&R, Miami
Chief Creative Officer: Claudio Lima
Art Director: Gabriel Jardim
Photographer: Mauricio Candela
Motion: Fernando Lancas

Groupon Employees Read Their Favorite Sexual Comments About the Non-Sexual Banana Bunker

For Groupon, it’s the Bunker that keeps on bunking (but not bonking).

The Banana Bunker, that famously suggestive-looking banana holder, is back “by popular demand” on the Groupon site this week. And given the success of its hilarious Facebook thread about the product last time (click here for a recap, if you were living in a real bunker at the time), the company had to do something special to celebrate.

So, it got some of its employees to read their favorite comments from the earlier thread.

Check out the YouTube video above. The video is also posted to Facebook, of course, which means there’s yet another comment thread. But Groupon is apparently not going to reply to everyone this time—just a few people (see below).

That’s understandable—it’s bunker-busting work.

Ikea Is Replying to Questions on Facebook With Comical, Pun-Filled Memes

The viral success of Groupon’s Banana Bunker post on Facebook appears to be rubbing off on other brands. See, for example, Ikea Singapore—which has started a whole new Facebook thread clearly with the intention of replying comically to everyone it can.

The post asks people to send questions about how they might improve their bedroom and bathroom areas. A “Shelf Help Guru” then answers them. (It’s the same guy who appeared in BBH Asia-Pacific’s comical “Improve Your Private Life” video from a few years back.

The answers come in a peculiar form, though—a meme-style image, often with a pun, and a link to a product on the Ikea website that might solve the person’s issue.

It’s not quite as inspired as Groupon’s effort (the image replies are often repeated throughout the thread, and to be honest, they’re generally not that helpful). But joking with customers on Facebook one-on-one is clearly becoming a thing.

See a bunch of the replies below. Via Design Taxi.

Is This Strange Russian Ad With a Man Drowning the Perfect Metaphor for Social Media?

If you saw a man drowning on social media, would you save him? That’s the metaphor at the heart of this bizarre ad for Mainpeople, a new Russian app designed to make charity more central to social media.

In the spot, half a dozen people stand on a dock watching and yammering while some poor guy flails around and swallows half the lake.

The cast of characters nicely skewers a range of clichés—there’s the paranoid conspiracy theorist, the smart-ass teenage boy, the cutesy teenage girl, the grown nerd spouting advice and statistics, the smarmy professor praising other countries, the indignant rich woman who blames the government.

Eventually, a sleazy contextual advertiser shows up and elbows his way into the conversation—flanked by two models in bikinis and rubber ducky life preservers (which are pretty awesome, I wouldn’t mind having one).

Nobody, though, can be bothered to actually lift a finger to help. And at the end of the parable, it’s clear, if not explicitly shown, that the victim actually drowns. (Though, in a clever bit of editing, an alternate reality shows the app quite literally saving him—someone pushes a button on it, and another man pulls him out onto the dock.)

The clip is, in a vacuum, amusing, playing on the perhaps too-obvious truth that there’s a lot of self-indulgent noise on networks like Facebook (and presumably VK), not to mention in a lot of the conversations anyone’s ever had about anything.

As for the apparent point—that people should be talking less and doing more to end suffering, broadly defined—it’s hard to argue the merits, but the mechanics are pretty fuzzy. There’s already no shortage of opportunities to donate to various causes via Facebook, for those who want them. Mainpeople’s website seems to suggest the app will streamline the process, making it easy to donate even when posting about unrelated subjects, and increasing the visibility of posts that come with a contribution (because it’s always smart to appeal to everyone’s vanity).

The brand’s name itself refers to people who are actually doing the heavy lifting of the charity work, and the app is supposed to let lazier types help simply by putting their money where their mouth is.

But even downloading another app seems like a lot of work.

Production: Stereotactic Moscow
Script: Pavel Karykhalin, Michael Lockshin
Director: Michael Lockshin
DOP: Ivan Lebedev
Executive producer: Pavel Karykhalin
Produced by Natalie Yurchenko, Lev Maslov
Composer: Oleg Karpachev

Chipotle Is Asking Fans to Write Haikus, and Some of Them Are Truly Impressive

Chipotle has come up with a pretty clever way to get people to express their deep love for burritos. Today, Chipotle is running a social media campaign asking people to post a haiku on Twitter or the brand’s Facebook page for the chance to win prizes. The Top 20 poems with the most Likes and retweets will win a dinner for two.

Usually, this sort of consumer-generated contest fare is pretty bad. But some of Chipotle’s fans are putting some impressive levels of creativity into it. 

On Facebook, someone submitted, “I used to date you/ But now you just serve me food/ One taco, no love.” Another user says, “Electric salsa/ Glides across beans, rice and meat/ dancing palate joy.”

Here are some of our favorite Twitter poems so far:

Watch This Video and Learn How to Turn Your Child Into the Next Social Media Superstar

If you’re a parent trying to make sense of this social-media-soaked world, you might feel a little bit lost and intimidated—not quite clear on how you can turn your child into an Internet phenom.

Well, according to this video promoting a (fictional) service called The Social Influence, that won’t be a problem. “With the help of trained professionals, parents can help their children build a social ecosystem that will effect millions and maybe billions of people—and hopefully make millions and maybe someday billions of dollars,” it explains.

Ever wonder how Bradley Cooper was able to fit all those celebrities in the legendary Oscars selfie from last year? His parents saw a doctor to have his arm extended by 20 percent.

“This adds a cinematic advantage over their short-armed competition—more heads equals more shares,” the video says.

Viacom’s in-house in marketing and content agency made this snark-filled gem of an video that skewers the state of social media—and the parents of the device-obsessed generation. 

“Make a plan and stick to it,” is the video’s advice. “And for God’s sake, keep posting or you’ll be forgotten faster than a one-off viral.”

Here are a couple of the best scenes edited into smaller clips:

Ad Student Hijacks Agency Hashtags on Instagram, Hoping for Job Interviews

File this one under creative ways to get agencies’ attention.

In hopes of landing an internship at an ad agency, Dutch student Max Kurstjens, who’s studying in Sweden, took matters into his own hands. Kurstjens tells AdFreak via email that he struggled to get in touch with the agencies, so he targeted their Instagram hashtags instead.

“Why? To get their attention and to mock the hashtag phenomenon, especially in the advertising world,” he says.

Kurstjens created different Instagram accounts to flood the feeds of certain agencies, including TBWA, Droga5 and Wieden + Kennedy. Scrolling through an agency hashtag yields a composite of images that take the hashtag hostage and direct users to wehaveyourhastag.com. There, you’ll find a robotic arm dumping hashtags into shark-infested waters, holding them over a fiery grill and electrocuting them.

The only way to save your hashtag is to invite the guy for a cup of coffee.

It’s not clear yet whether he’s landed that elusive interview. But hey, the site’s pretty cool. We hope he graduates from hijacking hashtags soon, before they have to bring in the hostage negotiators.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Logos Are Ingeniously Redesigned for Breast Cancer Awareness

Ask anyone you know how they feel about boobs, and I’m pretty sure it will be positive. Indeed, you’d have a hard time finding anyone hesitant to sing their praises.

Below is a fun series of ads from DDB Singapore timed to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. They’ll hit close to home for anyone who uses social media on the regular, and happens to have breasts, or knows anyone who has them (and wants them to be healthy). The familiar logos have been redesigned to anatomically pay homage to breasts and remind you to perform an exam—on yourself, or someone you care about—as frequently as you check your social feeds. 

The ads, for the Breast Cancer Foundation, also point to an online petition urging social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to actually change their logos temporarily for the cause. So, check out the ads below, and consider a screening so you can live longer to keep liking and faving.

Via Design Taxi.

How to Use Animated GIFs on Twitter (While Muttering Obscenities Every Step of the Way)

Some people think animated GIFs are stupid. Some find them charming. Possibly because of this rift, Twitter seems caught in a pictorial purgatory that makes everyone unhappy.

Like it or not, animated GIFs have become a massively popular form of communication, quickly evolving from passive-aggressive zingers to earnestly useful bites of video that are convenient to watch on just about any platform.

While Tumblr and newer sites like Ello have readily embraced them, Twitter and Facebook have most certainly not. Aside from last year’s quasi-hoax from Giphy, Facebook’s been pretty consistent about not wanting animated GIFs in news feeds. (I originally took this as a stance on user experience, but now that all Facebook videos autoplay silently, I realize I was a chump.)

And then there’s Twitter.

Its love-hate relationship goes back a few years. Here’s a quick recap:

September 2012: Twitter bans animated user avatars but existing ones are grandfathered in (that’s why you still see them from time to time). In fact, other than nudity and profanity, this is just about Twitter’s only restriction on avatars.

November 2013: Animated GIF service Giphy announces it’s been integrated into Twitter’s Media Cards, meaning you can (kind of) post an animated GIF in a tweet. But they were more like attachments you had to expand and didn’t show up in most Twitter streams. And you were restricted to using Giphy images instead of any animated pic you liked.

June 2014: Twitter Support announces you can “share and view animated GIFs on Twitter.com, Android and iPhone.” But that’s not entirely true, since what you’re sharing is a GIF that’s been converted into a looping MP4 video file, meaning you have to click to watch it.

September 2014: Popular GIF service Twitpic announces it is shutting down due to the high cost of a trademark battle with Twitter. This is especially bad news for animated GIF lovers who rely on the third-party service to share animations on Twitter. However, Twitpic announces a few days later that it has been acquired and will stay alive after all.

Where things stand now
We did test runs on the three most common options for posting an animated GIF to Twitter. We tried out Twitter’s built-in media upload feature, the popular Giphy database and the scrappy third-party Twitpic. We tested each on the Web, in TweetDeck and in the official Twitter mobile app. The result are below.

Spoiler alert: Each is flawed, cumbersome and questionably worth the effort.

Excited? Great! Here we go!

1. Posting an animated GIF directly to Twitter or TweetDeck.

This is definitely the easiest route, but it has the huge setback of not actually appearing as an animated GIF in people’s streams, and on TweetDeck it looks like total garbage.

How it looks on Twitter:

How it looks on TweetDeck:

How it looks on Twitter’s mobile app (Android):

(Clicking the thumbnail would play the GIF, which is actually converted into an MP4.)

Conclusion: It doesn’t autoplay, it’s not really a GIF, and it doesn’t work on TweetDeck, even though the desktop and Web app was acquired by Twitter way back in 2011. So I wouldn’t call this a great platform for sharing GIFs. Because it doesn’t.

2. Posting an animated GIF via Giphy:

I got a “forbidden” error when I tried uploading my test GIF to Giphy, but I was able to find a similar one already in the site’s database. I then clicked to share via Twitter, which automatically populates your tweet with a Giphy URL and lets you edit the tweet before posting. As you’ll see, the end result is mixed.

How it looks on Twitter:

(While Giphy was the only one of the three options that actually autoplays the GIF in a Web tweet, this only works if you embed the tweet like I’ve done here. In a user’s Twitter stream, it’ll just look like text and a link unless the follower clicks to expand the tweet. In other words, it’s likely to get overlooked by Web users on Twitter.com but would look good if dropped into a blog post.)

How it looks on TweetDeck:

How it looks on Twitter’s mobile app (Android):

(Clicking the link expands it to a video thumbnail, which you have to click again to watch on Giphy.com. Bleh.)

Conclusion: You still don’t get your animated GIF into the stream on TweetDeck, and on mobile it’s barely noticeable. It does look good on the Web when expanded or embedded, but not too many active Twitter users see tweets that way. I’m not altogether condemning Giphy as a service, but I would say its role as a tool for sharing animated GIFs on Twitter has likely been overstated.

3. Posting an animated GIF via TwitPic:

At AdFreak, we’ve been using TwitPic for a while now as our animated GIF tweeting service of choice. It autoplays GIFs in TweetDeck, which a lot of our readers seem to use. So you can see why we, like many others, were disturbed to hear the service was being shuttered and then relieved to hear about its stay of execution.

How it looks on Twitter:

How it looks on TweetDeck:

(Hey hey, it worked! Twitpic was the only one of these three options that actually played a GIF in stream on TweetDeck.)

How it looks on Twitter’s mobile app (Android):

(Clicking to expand the tweet only shows it as a still image. You have to click the link to view it as an animation on Twitpic.com.)

Conclusion: Twitpic is great for TweetDeck but looks pretty bad on mobile and Web. But with no TweetDeck support for animated GIFs from Twitter itself, playing in stream is a pretty good selling point for Twitpic.

It’s worth noting that my Twitpic posts were the only ones to get a positive reaction from followers, likely because many of my friends are TweetDeck junkies:

In Summary
Tweeting animated GIFs, for now, is still like trying get to the grocery store by riding a tricycle made of wet cardboard and rusted coffee cans. You’ll eventually get there, but you’ll look and feel like an idiot most of the way.

Which service you should use really depends on your audience. If most of your followers are mobile-savvy millennials on the go, Twitter’s native upload feature is probably best, though it’s still disappointing and (again) doesn’t actually use animated GIFs.

If your audience is more likely to be Twitter power users savvy with TweetDeck, I’d stick with Twitpic (while it exists). 

Hopefully Twitter will get past its conflicted feelings on GIFs soon and decide to either support them 100 percent or block them outright by forcing them into click-to-play MP4 videos. I wouldn’t bet on seeing autoplaying GIFs in all your streams anytime soon, though. And with Twitpic being an outlier that’s already in the crosshairs of Twitter’s legal team, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with that being a long-term option, either.

Everything’s crappy and nothing works like it should. Welcome to the future, everybody.

KitKat Has the Best Response So Far to Apple's #Bendgate Scandal

The Internet is getting bent out of shape today over news that Apple’s iPhone 6 can get bent out of shape when it’s in your pocket. A few brands have latched on to so-called #bendgate with some halfhearted tweets. But so far, it appears KitKat is leading the way with the least objectionable brand tie-in.

It remains to be seen how damaging this issue could be for Apple, but as one observer rightly points out: “You know you’re in trouble when you get trolled by KitKat.”

Iceland's Police Have One of the World's Cutest Instagrams

What is it about law enforcement that makes it so delightful when they actually try to have fun in social media? It’s probably just enjoyable to see the softer side of people who are trained to use deadly force and deal with the bleaker aspects of society.

The Seattle police set in the bar in this regard, of course, with their fascinating and amusing Twitter account. But now, the Instagram account of the Reykjavik, Iceland, police force has been brought to our attention—and it’s a real mosaic of cute.

It’s full of fun pics of animals and kids and people on the force doing goofy things. “Police kitty in training,” says the caption on the photo above, along with the hashtag #copcat.

Sure, humanizing any police force can lead to better relations with citizens, and a safer community overall. But this is also just about being real, not taking things too seriously and delivering useful information in a more entertaining package.

More pics below. Via Demilked.

How 9 Brands Used Twitter's Sign Bunny Meme to Make Little Billboards

Watching brands fail at Twitter has become cliché at this point. And just when you think they’ve gotten the idea, it’s fail whale all over again.

Still, they keep trying.

Earlier this week, a fun meme spread through Twitter starring a cute ASCII bunny holding a sign. If you were on Twitter that day, you couldn’t miss it. If not, few explainers will bring you up to speed.

Amber Gordon, a creative strategist at Tumblr and former community manager at Denny’s, is credited with starting the meme and has since seen it go viral.

Of course, brands—ever vigilant to real-time trends online nowadays, quickly noticed. And many of them whipped up little corporate bunnies of their own, brandishing pithy little branded signs.

We spoke with Gordon about the phenomenon and what it was like watching big brands attach themselves to a meme in real-time. And she also has some advice to the community managers of the big brands, too.

How does it feel to see big brands joining in the fun?
Seeing brands use these types of silly Internet trends is so exciting. Using a native language that’s become relevant to your audience is exactly what more brands should be doing, but in an authentic way. Meaning, research it before you post! (knowyourmeme.com is a great resource.)

Will it break the Internet if @Energizer does one?
If Energizer does one, I might cry tears of joy.

Does it feel weird that the bunny signs have now basically become little billboards for corporations?
I love them. Twitter itself is just words, and ASCII art makes them visually interesting. Honestly I think a message has a stronger impact (for me personally) when you can associate an image with it.

Below, check out nine brands that have given the sign bunny meme a shot: