PARIS: Following a hugely successful Instagram campaign that showed how easy it was to miss the signs of alcoholism, a French addiction support organisation, Addict’Aide, needed to continue the story; through an immersive experience, the 2017 campaign let fact bleed into fiction.

“Women and alcohol is a subject that no one really talks about in France, yet we know it’s a problem. There are a lot of women who are drinking too much, and also alcohol brands target young women a lot,” explained BETC strategist Julien Leveque.

“We have to address the problem and find a solution. To do that, we have to make sure that everyone understands it’s a problem.”

Addict’Aide is a platform that offers help, either for those directly affected by addiction or for those fearing that one of their nearest and dearest may be. A short questionnaire enables people to self-assess and then to access help from doctors and specialists, should they need it. (For more, read WARC’s Exclusive: How Addict’Aide switched from fiction to fact to help spot the signs of alcoholism)

It gained global visibility in 2017 with its Like My Addiction campaign won 19 Lions at Cannes with a campaign depicting an ‘it girl’ for whom a drink was never far away.

The sequel, ‘Le Secret de Laurence’ used the same insight, said Leveque: “It is about the addiction of someone close. We want to raise awareness about how easy it can be to see people and yet not be able to see their addiction.”

In the previous campaign, the brand had used a fictional character, but this year the story turned on the experiences of a real woman, Laurence Cottet, now sober for 10 years. BETC recreated Cottet’s apartment from the time when her alcoholism was at its worst. “It was really important to have a realistic approach and to make sure it was not too sad or too parodic.”

To encourage people to come into the apartment to see if they could guess what had happened there, BETC created a fake email address and contacted some gamers. Some 200 people visited the apartment to see if they could work out the mystery, a further 7000 attempted to the same feat online

Though the campaign launched on 12th Feb, Addict’Aide has registered an increase in traffic to its site since launch.

“Awareness is a big thing for Addict’Aide because it is not well-known. We want to create a reflex, so when people have a problem with addiction, they will go straight there”, Leveque said.