How brands fitted into #TheDress

By Gordon Macmillan
Thursday, 5 March 2015

Last week a conversation about the colour of a dress trended on Twitter around the world and generated millions of Tweets. Many brands joined in with strong contributions to the conversation. We’ve brought together a selection of those Tweets and three things you can learn from #TheDress.

One of the most widely engaged-with brand Tweets was that of @Specsavers, which proved itself to not only be speedy in reacting to this kind of unfolding meme, but also amusing and perfectly on-brand.

How brands fitted into #TheDress

As it does with so many moments, LEGO (@LEGO_Group) recreated #TheDress in bricks, creating figures wearing #whiteandgold and #blackandblue.

There were a number of companies that played on the colour of their products, including @xboxuk, @HBIreland and @Braun, all of which kept it simple.

Similarly, @ParamountUK played strongly on humour, with a Tweet adapting a famous line from its movie ‘Mean Girls’, for which it was rewarded with a high level of engagement.

Three things brands can learn from #TheDress

  1. Put your stamp on it.

    With #TheDress, @Specsavers saw an opportunity to perfectly marry the trend with its ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ tagline. Likewise, @ParamountUK tied #TheDress to one of its movies with the lightest of touches. @KitKat was another that went down this route, bringing the moment neatly back to its famous #HaveAbreak line. These brands all made a decision to lean in a particular direction and, as a result, entertained us.

  2. Keep it simple and relevant.

    The Tweets that people engaged with most were very simple. They used images and felt effortless. In this they reflected the trend itself. #TheDress exploded and trended organically into a global conversation by asking a simple question: what colour do you think the dress is? Brands that succeeded similarly stayed focused.
  3. Focus on the quality of the idea.

    While it is important to think carefully through any contribution a brand can make to a conversation like #TheDress, the dividends from a single successful Tweet can be immense. With that in mind, it isn’t about the speed of your brand’s response but the quality of the idea. The best contributions were funny and reflected very well the values of the brands that participated.