'The Dress', which appears as either white and gold or black and blue to different people, has been cleverly utilised by the Salvation Army for their new campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.
The advert riffs on the original news story about the dress which was that, while most people saw it as white and gold, a minority of people (me!) saw it as black and blue (the actual colours of the dress). The poster asks "Why is it so hard to see black and blue", underneath which it states "the only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women".
If you haven't read about the ambiguously coloured dress yet, you're probably the only person in the world, and Wired unpack it nicely over here.
Using the momentum of a viral news story to draw attention to a piece of advertising is called "newsjacking", and – when executed correctly – it's an incredibly clever and successful (and cheap!) way to engage audiences. For example, back in 2013 when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing thousands of people who worked in the clothing factories the building housed, American Apparel released this advert
to advertise the fact that all of their product is made in the US and that they ensure fair, safe working conditions for their employees.
Another recent example of "newsjacking" is the cover of Cosmopolitan's February 2015 issue, where they simulated a woman being suffocated to death by wrapping the issue in a plastic bag, to raise awareness about honour killings.
Image: Cosmopolitan's February 2015 issue
Raising awareness about domestic violence is incredibly important. In Australia, one women is killed every week by her partner or former partner. In the US between 2002 and 2012, more women were killed by their partners or former partners than everyone killed in 9/11 and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This advertising campaign has the added bonus of reminding us that advertising industry "creatives" aren't all liquid-lunching misogynists a la Don Draper, too.
Liked this? Read these articles about womens' issues:
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