THE BLOG

Everyone Thinks #TheDress Broke the Internet

02/28/2015 03:00 pm ET | Updated Apr 30, 2015

They also thought Kim's booty broke the Internet. In the noisy, crowded social media world, anything that can captivate an audience's attention is golden. Of course, by now, everyone knows what #TheDress is...someone today called me and simply said, "Ok, what color do you think it is?"

THAT's a viral meme. No explanation, no asking 'did you see it' -- just the assumption that everyone knows. That's part of what's so compelling... if you don't know, you hurry up and find out, so you can be part of it.

Anything that's in the category of 'the eye of the beholder' is intriguing. Beauty, truth, wisdom, color -- all subjective to each individual. We're experiencing an individual phenomenon, collectively, in real-time. No one's right. Everyone's right, even if they disagree. WOW, that's unusual.

Because the cool thing about it is that #TheDress is about science. Wired had a great piece explaining what's going on:

What's happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you're trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis," says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. "So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black. (Conway sees blue and orange, somehow.)

Every brand out there would love to go viral on the order of #TheDress #KimsButt or #GrumpyCat . Some brands are even trying to cash in on the viral success by 'hijacking' the hashtag or the popularity.

It didn't break the Internet this time, either. Oh, and yeah, #TheDress is white and gold.

Beverly Macy is a thought leader, educator, author and speaker on power of digital media. She teaches at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the author of The Power of Real-TIme Social Media Marketing.