I don’t know. I don’t know. Far be it from me to call something “tasteless” or “shocking for the sake of being shocking” but maaaaaaaaybe this new domestic violence ad is crossing some sort of line. In a creepy attempt at cashing in on the viral frenzy surrounding the Gold & White/Blue & Black dress, The Salvation Army in South Africa launched a campaign featuring a woman covered in bruises wearing the dress. “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.”
Seriously. Tasteless clickbait or powerful social commentary? You decide.
“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.”