#TheDress Used For Salvation Army’s #StopAbuseAgainstWomen Ad Campaign

Chanel Adams - Author

Mar. 6 2015, Updated 5:01 a.m. ET

The Salvation Army is using the dress to bring awareness to domestic abuse. The South African branch of the organization tweeted a public service announcement on Friday morning, according to Time Magazine. The ad featured a woman in a white and gold dress with a caption that reads, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

The ad featuring the dress also included some statistics. It says that “one in six women are victims of abuse.” The new Salvation Army ad also includes the hashtag #StopAbuseAgainstWomen. The ad also says, “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.”

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The PSA was placed in the Cape Times Newspaper early Friday morning, according to a Carin A. Holmes, spokesperson for the Salvation Army. She told the Washington Post in an email that the PSA was created by the Ireland/Davenport agency in Johannesburg.

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“They linked it to the work TSA does with abused women and children and trafficked women. We have two homes for abused women and children, Carehaven in Cape Town and Beth Shan in Johannesburg. TSA in South Africa brings awareness to this problem, which is huge.”

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The dress used is the infamous dress that went viral last week. It sparked conversations as people debated about the true colors of the dress. Some people saw the dress as white and gold while others saw it as blue and black. This viral sensation took both the media and the general public by storm, and #TheDress soon became an internet sensation, according to Time Magazine.

While some brands tried to use the dress in their advertising campaigns, the Salvation Army’s use of #TheDress “may be the most powerful yet,” contributor Megan Gibson writes. By using the popular internet meme in its PSA, the Salvation Army has turned a fun optical illusion into the realization of a serious crime that society often turns its back on.

The Salvation Army is hoping that it can “piggyback” off the viral sensation of the white and gold or blue and black dress debate. But is it a good idea? Some people on Twitter have already given their reactions to the new PSA. Most have been showing their support for the powerful ad campaign. They think it’s a smart way to incorporate the dress while bringing awareness to domestic violence.

One user tweeted, “Hats off! What an ingenious way to turn #TheDress debate into something meaningful. Let’s #StopAbuseAgainstWomen.”

Meanwhile, other users feel that that the ad campaign leaves a bad taste in their mouth, with one user writing, “Bad move to use the dress in this manner.”

Another remarked that some people are taking the dress “too seriously now” while one user asked the charity, “Clever, but who is this targeted towards? The perpetrators, victims or bystanders?”

One user summed up his feelings, writing, “Complex image, resonant but resonant with something quite trivial? A white, blonde South African woman? I’m ambivalent.”

Either way, this new ad campaign is sure to have people talking about the dress and about domestic abuse today. What do you think of Salvation Army’s new PSA? Do you think using the dress was a brilliant marketing move on their part?

[Image: Salvation Army/Twitter]


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