March 9, 2015 7:25 pm
Updated: March 10, 2015 8:18 am

Salvation Army takes advantage of ‘The Dress’ social media frenzy

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Watch above: The picture that had the world asking what colour the dress was is the subject of an ad against domestic violence. Aaron Streck tells us the ‘why is it so hard to see black and blue’ campaign is timely and effective.

SASKATOON – A picture of a woman visibly beaten and bruised in what appears to be a white and gold dress is featured in a South African Salvation Army ad campaign targeting domestic violence. The message was influenced by a social media post.

Like the dress, it’s gaining international attention.

“The dress is an illusion and I think that’s something we need to keep in mind is that this dress and the colours it’s just an optical illusion, where as one in six women dealing with domestic violence is not an illusion,” said Christina Gerwing, Saskatoon Salvation Army charitable gift advisor.

READ MORE: Salvation Army uses ‘The Dress’ for domestic violence campaign

Since being tweeted Friday, it has spread like wild fire, grabbing the attention of millions.

“I think it brings forth awareness, definitely still in this day and age people don’t talk about it, it’s still kind of kept behind closed doors, women are made to feel shameful about what’s happening to them and they take it on as if it’s their fault which it’s not and ads like this get people talking,” said Tanya Wiggins, executive director of the Saskatoon Interval House .

READ MORE: ‘I needed to know it wasn’t my fault’: When rapists are those you trust most

University of Saskatchewan Edwards School of Business associate marketing professor David Williams applauds the campaign and says it was done in a timely manner with a short window of opportunity.

“I think it’s exceedingly creative in the sense it uses like divergent thinking, it brings two seemingly unconnected things together like the Internet’s petty obsession with the dress and the serious concern of domestic violence,” said Williams.

“It brings something together in a novel and appropriate way but also something relevant.”

The campaign has two parts, with the first asking the question: “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

Followed by the answer – “Because they cover it with white and gold.”

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