Advertising

Awareness is everything.

It may seem like a long time since we heard anything about #TheDress, last week’s viral sensation.

But a charity has turned interest in the Blue & Black or White & Gold social media conversation into a powerful message about domestic violence.

This picture was tweeted by the Salvation Army in South Africa, which said one in six women are victims of abuse.

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I think it’s an outstanding use of social media to drive campaign message brilliantly and it was quickly conceived and executed. Sure the dress was “so last week”, but can’t we have it both ways? Can’t someone be clever and still make a difference in someone’s mind? Can’t someone turn #TheDress debate into something meaningful?

The stats on this campaign state 1 in 6 women suffer abuse. That’s enough for a campaign to end violence, don’t you think? Piggy back off of anything that will give the cause attention. Keep the momentum going, bring your issue to the forefront of people’s minds when the opportunities present itself. Ride on viral trends and aid discussion of issues which would otherwise get swept under the rug.

Sure, it could be better. We’re encouraged to ‘see’ the bruising, but no information is given about how to actually help women living with Domestic Violence. The campaign doesn’t link with any direct benefit to women’s organisations, refuges, services for women experiencing DV. But so many people have seen (and spoken) about this ad that even if only a quarter of them donated, I’d still consider it a success.

Is it the perfect way to campaign around an effort? Probably not. Viral is fleeting. Smart marketers don’t always chase viral. But there is a time and a place and I think the Salvation Army of South Africa did a good job at leveraging a meme that worked.

What do you think? A powerful advert or a bad idea?

– Atekka xo

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