#TheDress Busted: 5 Ways To Create a Viral Social Media Campaign

social media trending, viral photos

So you’ve probably already heard, the most recent rage over the internet is whether a certain dress is blue and black or white and gold. Yes, this is what is taking up the next generation’s time. And mine. While the purpose of this blog is NOT to debate what I’m seeing versus what you’re seeing, I’d like to hash out WHY this has become such a massive topic, covered by CNN, NBC and USA Today.

This is not just a social media debate, it seems to be a retail debate, and with my experience in retail and home furnishings, it’s a fit for me to PuT OuT. 🙂

Whether the dress is #blueandblack or #whiteandgold? Doesn’t matter to us. The virality of this post DOES. Here are five social media elements that made this post a phenomenon:

1. Home Photoshop

I’m going to go out on a limb here, ladies and gentlemen. Do you really think that every picture you’re seeing of the dress online hasn’t been altered? Case and point numero uno:

viral dress post, photoshop dress

In fact, to test this out, one of our graphic artists pulled the images into photoshop last night to demonstrate. What did they find? After pulling it into the program and NOT adjusting the color levels, they did a quick auto tone, color and contrast and got conclusive results: blue and black. Don’t shoot the messenger.

The fact remains. Anyone can nab a picture off the internet and modify it. So all of you who got into serious arguments with your spouse last night about it? Shame, shame 🙂

  1. Hashtags

Creating a custom hashtag for a debate or social campaign can single handedly raise a post’s virality through the roof. Hashtags become a free-for-all with things like this, but when I searched for the trending hashtags on Twitter today? The top 4 hashtags are related to this topic:

color of the dress, twitter trending topics

Guys, that’s almost unheard of. Over a dress!!! 

  1. The Internet Meme

Another sure fire way to make a post go viral? Get some geeks to do memes, or a .Gif about it. Enough said in this department, enjoy some of our favorites:

  • The Llama

social media dress trend, llama memes

  • Star Trek Fanatic

trekkie, techie, memes, blue and black, white and gold

  • The “Black and Blue” Power Ranger

the dress trend, social media, power ranger fan

  • The Llama…again

llama meme, blue and black, social trend

  • …..and another Llama….(what the heck is up with the Llama?!)

Llama the dress, social media debate, argument, the dress

  1. The Mobile View

My first experience with this dress was from a mobile view. It appeared to be one color scheme. When I opened the image on my laptop, it appeared differently.

It’s not rocket science here people, mobile view is often different than desktop! A thumbnail, due to its quality, will appear different. It’s a great reminder to always check your social profiles and websites on mobile AND on desktop, because YOU NEVER KNOW!

  1. Retail Online Shopping

I’m not quite sure why the picture was originally posted online, but my best guess is that it was retail related. Thanks to online retail, interested parties can know everything about the dress. A simple online search comes up with details of the dress, the manufacturer or seller, and the price:

retail the dress, blue and black, white and gold, what color is the dress

So there you have it. Just a few reasons why this post has become so insanely popular. What colors do I think the dress truly is? I’ll never tell, but I’ll bet that the manufacturers may just be crafting a few new colors of this bodycon dress (if they haven’t already)!

I’m going to speculate once again…do you think it’s possible that somewhere in China the Dillards, Macy’s, Nordstrom, or another major department store’s manufacturer read a purchase order that was supposed to be the normal 1,000 piece order and thought it said 10,000 or even 100,000?

Then it was someone’s responsibility to GET RID OF THE DRESS. Yes, those are the type of marketing ideas that we would have come up with here at PuTTin’ OuT to make the situation fun and deplete inventory for clients.

Alright, I know you have opinions. Blue and black or white and gold? And … are these tactics the future for online marketing or inventory control for retailers across America and Europe? My next question, is…..will you buy a color of #thedress? If so, what color will it be?

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About the Author

Christi Tasker

Christi Tasker

Hey! I always love hearing your thoughts & feedback on my articles. Please feel free to comment below with questions, answers, or other useful solutions. I'm Christi Tasker, the Chief Entertainment Officer (that means I do too much to list) of @PuTTinOuT, a Las Vegas based social media marketing firm serving businesses, brands, and celebrities worldwide. If that doesn't sound like enough, a couple of years ago I was crazy enough to author The Power of Pinterest book. I also travel the world conducting television interviews and speaking. At my speaking engagements and on my blogs I love to share and educate audiences of CEOs, small business owners, real estate professionals, retailers, interior designers, bloggers, and even wedding professionals to use tactics that we discover everyday while managing social media communities for our clients. Please leave a comment or a question. It's total motivation for me to keep writing. Without comments I don't know that you're reading.