Rachel Smith

Photo credit: Instagram/hot4thespot

If you don’t know what dress we’re talking about, you either didn’t go online or leave your house this summer. The dress in question is this versatile £39.99 polka dot number from ZARA, colloquially known as ‘that dress’ or ‘that Zara dress’ (#thatzaradress). As a staple feature of the summer London skyline, the dress created both a sisterhood and a game for onlookers to ‘spot’ as many as they could. 

The shared déjà vu feeling of sighting the dress led to a social media frenzy, which included the conception of the ‘Hot 4 The Spot’ Instagram account¹. With 25.8k followers, the account positioned itself as ‘a safe space for the dress’ and documented images of the dress submitted by members of the public. Posts ranged from singular sightings of the dress to images of several strangers wearing the dress in the same location. 

Photo credit: Instagram/hot4thespot

It was at around this moment that the blatant popularity saw some owners reflect on their purchase. Though a few embraced ownership even more, many others were re-evaluating their subscription to the ‘that dress’ community. The dress was losing its charm and it was highly unappealing to conform to the millennial uniform or risk being at the butt end of a joke.  

Underlying all of this was the absence of individuality. The element of individuality is essential across all industries, especially in the fashion or advertising industry. In this instance, the lack of individuality prevented people from wearing the purchased item and amidst a big push for sustainable fashion, people needed to be given a new reason to wear the dress again. 

The solution to this came from savvy bloggers who saved the day by introducing personalisation. Personalisation hacks, such as dyeing the dress in varying colours, soon revived what it meant to own the spotted dress and created a new dimension to the community for sharing modification ideas. 

Photo credit: Instagram/hot4thespot

What can advertisers learn from this?

If advertisers should take anything away from this dress debacle, it's that individuals respond well to originality and this lesson should be applied to ad campaigns to ensure that the consumer feels special. The creative is the most important factor in successful campaigns² and personalisation is known to deliver up to 8 times the ROI and boost sales by at least 10% or more³. This success is thought to be because consumers consider the ads more engaging, educational, time-saving, and more memorable than general-audience ads⁴. 

If you want ads that are bespoke and contain the most relevant creative for your audience, get in touch with us at hello@adludio.com and we'll be more than happy to chat!





1 https://www.instagram.com/hot4thespot/


2 https://www.nielsen.com/sa/en/insights/article/2017/perspectives-want-a-successful-ad-get-creative/


3 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/ebook-big-data-analytics-and-the-future-of-marketing--sales


4 https://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/08/30/why-personalised-advertising-your-lifeline-age-ad-blockers


Cover image - https://www.miltonandking.com/product/huddys-dots-removable-wallpaper/