Salvation Army Uses #TheDress To Spread Important Domestic Violence Message

03/06/2015 12:11 pm ET | Updated Mar 06, 2015

#TheDress optical illusion caused a social media frenzy with debates over whether its fabric was blue and black or white and gold. Though millions of messages were shared, no one was actually saying much. Now, one organization is using #TheDress to make a powerful point.

The Salvation Army in South Africa launched a campaign with a bruised victim of domestic violence wearing a white and gold version of the dress, the color combination a majority of people saw. "Why is it so hard to see black and blue?" reads the tagline, with copy that states, "The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women."

the dress

"We know that one in four women are victims of domestic violence in the U.K.," a spokesperson said in a press release. "This innovative and powerful campaign by The Salvation Army in South Africa highlights that domestic violence is often overlooked by society. We hope this image helps people to see the true impact of this crime."

The ad was created by the Johannesburg-based Ireland/Davenport agency, who offered it completely free to the Salvation Army.

"We wanted to take advantage of the hype of the meme to spread awareness for something important," Ireland/Davenport creative director Wihan Meerhloz told ABC News. "Our creative team brainstormed ways to send a greater message about overlooked abuse against women using the dress."

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