What’s On

#sowhoknew: The dress that broke the internet

I always imagined that it would be Kim Kardashian’s naked bum that would ultimately break the internet. But it was actually a blue and black dress. Or is it actually gold and white?

The online sensation is an off-the-peg frock worth around USD 70 worn at a wedding in Scotland (you seriously can’t make this stuff up). Jon Passatino, Deputy Editor of Buzzfeed, tweeted last week that the news item broke its traffic record, with over 670,000 people simultaneously viewing the post at one particular point. Across 6 hours? It had 16 million hits.

BB GW dress

Neetzan Zimmerman, an expert in virality and former editor at content machine Gawker, tweeted that the dress is an example of ‘viral singularity’.

The whole phenomenon appears to have begun with a simple Tumblr picture of the dress, which was headlined ‘What colours are this dress?’ From there it simply exploded online with various celebrities pontificating over whether they were in ‘Team Blue&Black’ or ‘Team White&Gold.’ The aforementioned KK is firmly in the White & Gold camp apparently, although it seems her other half (Kanye West, just in case you have been living under a rock) is convinced it’s Blue & Black.

Taylor Swift claims to be “confused and scared” by the whole thing (although I’m thinking maybe err ISIS, as an example, are somewhat more confusing and scary than the colour of a dress).

Lady Gaga chimed in with a different take on Twitter who opined that “it’s periwinkle and sand” whilst Miley Cyrus genuinely captured the hearts and minds of a generation with a truly insightful tweet: ‘What’s the deal with this f***ing dress? #blueandblack.’

Even politicians such as Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, have got caught up in the furore, by informing his followers know that he is most definitely in the white-and-gold camp.

Anyway, it seems the whole thing is no more than a simple optical illusion. And the dress is categorically blue and black (that’s not what I see by the way). Sheesh. Not since Monica Lewinsky has there been as much consternation about the colours of (on or in) a blue dress…

Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Global Media Lead - Nestlé at Mindshare. Previously, he was the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.