March 6, 2015

Seeing Black & Blue: How “the Dress” Morphed into a Powerful Anti-Violence Campaign.


Just last week the topic of conversation surrounding the colour of “The Dress” created an online media storm.

Today, the Salvation Army put the notoriety surrounding the dress to good use by fronting the infamous image on a new campaign to raise awareness against domestic violence.

An advert portrays a woman covered in bruises while wearing the white and gold version of the blue and black dress that went global, asking “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” Underneath these words is written, “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

The South African branch of the Salvation Army took to their Twitter account to highlight the campaign, just ahead of International Women’s Day on March eighth.

In South Africa one in six women are victims of abuse.

The tweet is currently being retweeted thousands of times on twitter using the hashtag #StopAbuseAgainstWomen.

The advert also features a logo for Carehaven, which is a home run by the Salvation Army that has helped more than 5,000 abused women and their children.

Ireland/Davenport, the advertising agency behind the image told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement:

“For the past few days the Internet has been swarming with comments about ‘the dress’—overall people have been commenting how they hate the fact that an insignificant thing like this could take priority on the Internet over more pressing topics such as abuse.”

The agency’s creative team put together an advert within 24 hours and then approached the Salvation Army to ask if they would like to work together to get the message out there.

He continued. “This ad is a mechanism to be seen not just as a message for women who have been abused, but for all.”

The reason the dress, made by Roman Originals, went viral online is due to some seeing the colour as blue and black, while others see it as white and gold.

According to a Buzzfeed Poll taken by 3.4 million voters, only 32 percent saw it as its true colour which was blue and black, while 68 percent of people saw it as white and gold.

The reason for that the colour appeared so different was mostly due to the lighting within the photograph.

Find out more about the science behind the dress.


The Invisible Domestic Violence no one Talks about.



Author: Alex Sandra Myles 

Editor: Renee Picard 

Image via the Salvation Army 

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