Red is More Than Just a Color

Jordana here: LCI’s brand-new Account Coordinator. Last week, I received a last-minute invitation to attend the 2010 American Red Cross Foundation’s annual “Paint the Town Red Gala,” which took place on March 6th, 2010. A very last-minute invitation, indeed. Although it was great to receive the invite, the Gala’s theme presented a huge dilemma. I needed to find a formal red dress in four days. Oh please, let the gown gods smile down on me this week.

So, off my boyfriend and I went in search of the perfect red dress. First stop:  the ever-reliable Macy’s at Union Square, with only forty-five minutes until closing. We split up and scoured the entire floor for anything long and red. As we circled back to meet in the middle of a sea of gowns, we tallied the score: five promising hopefuls to try. But wait, this was the quickest endeavor I have ever embarked upon when in the face of the dreaded formal-wear challenge. Why? The human brain. Our brains are compartmentalized in such a way that we can categorize our searches efficiently when narrowing them down, especially by color. And red is a color that naturally stands out.

Given the choice of red as a theme, I realized the reason why so many photos from this annual gala seem to circle wildly throughout the press. It is all because of one ever-noticeable detail: the red dresses. They are absolutely eye-catching. Not only is this great publicity for the Red Cross, but it’s sure to get all the fab San Francisco party-goers circulating in some great Party Pics. Event-attendees from 2009 have been spotted online at 7×7 Magazine,,, and Marin Magazine, among others. The theme is so recognizable, even the saleswoman at Neiman’s asked if I was attending the Red Cross Gala.

After Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom, I eventually found my perfect red dress (at Neiman Marcus), in what’s sure to go down in my history books as one of the quickest dress-hunting escapades of my life.

From a PR standpoint: what a great branding tactic. Those red dresses grab the attention of the media and general web-surfin’ public. Hats off to the American Red Cross for coming up with such a great PR tactic. Every other organization is saying, “Why didn’t we think of that!”

For more information on this event, visit:

One thought on “Red is More Than Just a Color

  1. Jordana – great thoughts about how to cut through the clutter with brands. And inquiring minds want to know? How WAS the Gala? Fun, I’ll bet. Cheers, David

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