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#DressGate…reactive and opportunist PR at it’s finest?

#DressGate…reactive and opportunist PR at it’s finest?

27 February 2015 | Pic PR

So unless you’ve been hiding under a rock all day (or at least off comms) you’ve no doubt heard about #DressGate. People all over social media have been arguing about the colour of a bodycon dress, with some people believing the dress is white and gold whilst others are adamant that it’s blue and black.

The picture was posted by a Tumblr user almost two weeks ago on the 15th of February, but today it’s been picked up by popular sites such as Buzzfeed, which has caused what seems like the whole world to start talking about #Dressgate, including Taylor Swift, Julianne Moore and Kim Kardashian. It was one of the first topics of discussion in the office this morning, with the majority of us seeing the dress as white and gold. However, since doing some reading around the topic I now see it as blue and black (much to my amazement), which now leaves a 50/50 split here at the Pic PR office.

There is of course a scientific explanation to it all; with science indicating that it’s to do with how light waves enter our eyes and how the brain processes these signals. However, working in PR, that’s not the most interesting thing about this whole scenario for me. Of course, just a couple of hours after the internet exploded Roman Original realised the dress came from its range and promptly confirmed that the dress was indeed blue and black with a Tweet which read “We can confirm #TheDress is blue and black! We should know!” and linking to it on the website.

This was a classic example of quick thinking by the brand’s PR department. They managed to get themselves involved in the conversation, including a link to their website and the dress, which is available in four colours…none of which are white and gold. However, a spokesperson for the brand has said that they are considering creating the alternative version of the dress. “We are thinking about making a gold and white version. We could do it quickly, but it has to go through quality assurance, ” said Ian Johnson, Roman Original’s Creative Manager.

The dress apparently sold out within minutes of the brand announcing the link, but it’s managed to restock meaning Roman can take full advantage of the surge in interest. So all in all it’s a success story for Roman, however, there is a tiny bit of me that wonders if maybe, just maybe, this was more of a planned PR stunt given the person who originally posted the image was a blogger…but then again perhaps it really is just the perfect example of great reactive PR in action. Either way, it’s a PR success for The Romans Original’s PR team.