5 Content Marketing Lessons Learned From #TheDress


As you probably remember February 26th 2015 will live in infamy, “the dress” caused one of the biggest online wars in the history of the Internet, and all started with a simple question, “What color is this dress?” Within 24 hours, the Tumblr post and picture had 30 million page views.

The crazy thing? The dress did exhibit both color combinations. For some people it was black and blue, others decided the exact opposite, white and gold. This continued to go on to make the dress the biggest and most shared photo ever on social media.

In addition, this dress received a whole lot of recognition from the top news sources in the world including: Buzzfeed, Wired, Business Insider, and The New York Times. Buzzfeed posted over 6 different articles about the dress. Many celebrities also joined in on the dress controversy and stated their opinion about the color of the dress. This included Taylor Swift, who, incase you were wondering, thought it was black and blue.

So how can this worldwide phenomenon relate to content marketing? We discuss what lessons #thedress taught us and why you should consider these tips when marketing your next campaign.

1. Natural Events

People want to spread normal conversations around and get various opinions on the subject. Users don’t want to compare a product online or engage in marketing argument. They just want to be able to find differences and similarities in natural, everyday objects and events like this dress. The dress post had a natural implementation by asking a simple question. Find ways to make your campaign look natural.

2. Discussion

In order for a campaign to grow properly, there must be a reason for the viewers to discuss something. As long as a picture has a reason for people to discuss, it has the chances to be the next biggest viral story. The dress also showed how people want to discuss their opinions with other people no matter the topic. A content marketing campaign is not too different from any other kind of campaign, whether it be internal or external, engagement is key.

3. Twitter

Although Twitter only allows its user to type 140 characters before stopping them short, it is the best way to spread anything that might have a chance of going viral. Twitter is the place where hashtags have significant powers and can cause the worldwide web to unite about one topic and discuss it thoroughly, while being able to see everybody else’s posts about that topic. It’s the place where news stations to go to find news stories. And it is now grown enough to be able to reach all of Facebook’s users through Twitter users. The amount of connectivity that Twitter has with the rest of the world makes it the best delivering tool for any message and should be considered when marketing a campaign.

4. Two-Part Post

In the first posted picture of the dress, the girl asked about the dress color, but then she also added that her and her friends are having an argument about this too and that they cannot make up their minds concerning the actual color. The post was short but it got whoever was reading it involved with the story and in the mood to want to pitch in their own intake on the color. Even celebrities discussed what they thought because the beginning post was delivered well. In sum, have a simple call-to-action to encourage discussion.

5. Think Outside The Box

In order for someone to be in the loop, they must interact with the people that are in the loop too. Which is why when Xbox had a conference call and found out about the dress going viral, their way of fitting in was to ask on Twitter if their black and blue controller was actually a gold and white one. Although Xbox has nothing to do with the fashion world, by thinking outside the box they got in the loop and engaged with their customers about something they can both relate to. In addition, the Los Angeles Dodgers also engaged their MLB community by switching their Blue and White logo twitter picture to Gold and White, and therefore brought a mostly non-fashion audience in on the conversation. Look for ways to appeal to a variety of audiences.

Consider these five tactics before you press publish on your next campaign.

Social Media Today RSS