Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Last week a dress took center stage online. For those who managed to remain oblivious, here’s the scoop. BuzzFeed showed a photo of a dress that, to some, was blue and black but that others decidedly saw as white and gold. The debate went viral, using the hashtag #thedress. You can read more about it here.
I find watching individuals and companies responding to “news” items instructive. Here are a few ways in which various entities jumped on The Dress bandwagon.
1. The designers of the dress took good advantage of the astounding–and free–publicity. First, they geared up for the increase of sales of The Dress, which saw sales soar 347% in the matter of a few days.
2. The designers hadn’t created a white and gold version of the dress, but they immediately set into motion the manufacture of that dress.
3. They pointed out in media that the dress, which many commenters stated they loved regardless what color it was, was available in other colors.
4. They took their message to the media and gave a number of interviews.
Here’s the story about how the ad was created.
And my point? As we’ve often been told, when something breaks on the news connected to a topic you write about, drop everything and add your voice to the conversation. As the ad people who created the photo about domestic abuse found, even a silly but viral discussion about the color of a dress can lead creative minds to convey a serious message from the meme.
6. The future belongs not to the best or the most talented but to the swiftest.
What ways did you see people and companies take advantage of TheDress going viral?
What lesson(s) do you take away from events like these? Are you prepared today to take advantage if something happened you could link to in a way that isn’t cheesy? Okay, that is cheesy?
What #TheDress teaches about being savvy online. Click to tweet.
How even silly viral postings can start a serious conversation. #TheDress Click to tweet.