Salvation Army Uses Popularity Of #TheDress To Highlight A Much More Serious Issue

Amanda Chan
·Deputy Editor

#TheDress captured the attention of the world — let’s hope the message of this PSA reaches just as many people. (Photo: Salvation Army South Africa)

The Salvation Army in South Africa is hoping to use the now-ubiquity of #TheDress to bring attention to a very important — and much more serious — issue: Violence against women.

In the ad, a woman is shown wearing a dress similar to the one that caused an Internet frenzy, due to the fact that some people could see it as white and gold and others could see it as black and blue. But all is clearly not OK with her, if you look closely at her face and legs.

The ad reads: 

Why is it so hard to see black and blue
The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.

"The Salvation Army hopes that the advert highlights the shocking levels of violence against women," Major Carin Holmes, PR secretary of the Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory, tells Yahoo Health. "But we pray that it will go even further than that and bring about real change in this area, with a significant reduction in abuse against women.”

The ad first ran in the Cape Times on Friday, and was created by the advertising agency Ireland Davenport. 

The PSA follows other recent ads raising awareness of domestic violence, including a spot that aired during this year’s Super Bowl, based on a Reddit post about a real-life 911 call. That call involved a woman calling for help due to abuse from her boyfriend, but disguising her call as an order for pizza. 

You can watch the spot below: 

A CoverGirl ad that came out last fall was also inadvertently turned into an ad against domestic abuse, after it underwent some Photoshopping and went viral on social media. The ad, part of the “Get Your Game Face On” campaign in partnership between the makeup company and the National Football League (NFL), features a woman wearing Baltimore Ravens-themed makeup:

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(Photo: CoverGirl)

But with the buzz surrounding Ray Rice, the former Ravens running back who was caught on video assaulting his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer Rice, the ad was altered to spread a different message — and then went viral on Twitter:  

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(Photo: Twitter)

The Photoshopped CoverGirl ad was in response to the NFL’s handling of Rice’s case; Rice was initially suspended for just two games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but he has since been cut from the Ravens

Up Next: This New Bill Could Help Curb Campus Sexual Assault