Travel bloggers make their living by leveraging FOMO. “Wish you were here” really means “Don’t you wish you were here?” But everyone on the planet misses out in a stealthy Instagram activation from the World Wildlife Fund that rolled out last week.
Nine influencers posted what looked like photos of pristine locales, untouched by the ravages of modernity. But fans who gushed over the beautiful pics soon discovered there was more–or rather, less–than it seemed at first glance. The sites had already been ruined by pollution, construction or a changing climate, and had been cleaned up only with digital retouching software.
The switch was planned by TBWA/Paris, though it’s not the first agency to trick folks into liking pretty images that don’t tell the whole story. In 2016, BETC Paris garnered 50,000 likes over two months for Louise Delage, a fake 25-year-old with a drinking problem hidden in plain sight.
By I-Hsien Sherwood