Flip-flopgate: Has Havaianas just pulled off the best Black Friday marketing ploy?

Caitlin Morrison
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What colour are these flip-flops? (Source: Getty)

It's happening again. Everyone remembers The Dress - was it blue and black? Was it white and gold? (It was definitely white and gold.)

Now it's flip-flops.

Debate is raging online over the colour of these sandals:

What colour are these flip-flops?

Some think they're white and gold. Others think they're black and blue. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?*

The photo was originally posted by a Portugese Twitter user, who asks "What colour do you see?"

The confusion is all down to the way different people's brains process information from the eyes.

Aside from the great colour debate, however, is the fact that every one of Twitter's approximately 317m users is highly likely to see this picture, which is undeniably great marketing for iconic Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas - and just in time for Black Friday. After all, sales of #thedress spiked after it became the world's number one talking point for 24 hours back in 2015.

And Jose de Cabo, one of the co-founders of visual marketing firm Olapic, said: “Like ‘The Dress’ did last year for Roman Originals, this picture is creating a story for Havaianas and generating a huge amount of free publicity for them. This is always going to be of great benefit to a brand, especially in this case during a heightened retail period ahead of people heading off for sunny winter breaks!”

He added: "While the original post didn’t mention Havaianas directly, the brand’s name is right in the middle of the picture and therefore highly visible to any viewer.

"We, as consumers, are creating content all the time- a process made even easier with constant access to cameras on our smartphones. Although brands cannot have full control of the user-generated content created on their behalf, marketers should encourage people to interact freely with each other given that as we can see, consumers have a powerful voice through platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram."

We take our hats/flip-flops off to you, Havaianas.

*(They're gold and white.)

City AM What colour are the flip-flops?

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