Posted by Helen Grieves 03 Mar 2015

A second look at The Dress

the dress colour

There have been many viral social campaigns to hit the Internet recently, but very few have had the same impact as The Dress. Is it blue and black or white and gold? A question it seems the entire Internet was asking on Friday 27th when it exploded onto social media and was all anyone could talk about.

Following this, many explanations and theories of why we all see The Dress differently started popping up. People turned it into a political point, the cynics questioned the pointlessness of it all and the science behind it came out (it was all down to lighting, apparently), until it eventually fizzled away like all good viral hits do.

But, in that short period, it captured the intrigue of over a million people and earned its own hashtag as #TheDress, which remained top in the trending topics for the entire day. It had celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande talking about it, to the big news channels such as BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal and much more.

The impact of this, while it seems like a silly topic, has been rather large. Everyone had an opinion and it naturally turned into memes and spoofs as the day went on, so is the way of all Internet virals. The amount of reach and the conversation it sparked has made it one of the most widely talked about topics of 2015 so far.

Its social impact has been huge, keeping in mind it only started as a simple photo upload on Facebook and Tumblr, and ended up hitting the one million mentions mark by only 3pm that day. Celebrities getting involved is always going to be a plus for helping content reach bigger numbers too, as their followers are often in the millions and have a huge reach.

But what makes it such a good viral sensation anyway? It’s something that sparks debate, even in the simplest two-sided way, it’s a talking point and a strong one at that. It’s accessible to everyone and requires very little thought and no prior knowledge, therefore anyone and everyone could join in without adhering to an agenda or making a point. It’s quick, simple and easy to get involved and with it being such a huge hit, the number of interactions just multiplied due to this.

Overall, it was fun, light-hearted and it distracted the Internet for the day. One guy even got a tattoo of the dress so it captivated people enough to have that much of an impact. Love it or hate it, The Dress showed how quickly something, no matter how trivial, can travel on social media and how it got everyone and their mothers talking about it. 

It was black and blue though, right?