The Psychology behind Different Colours Used in Advertising

The use of colour is a persuasive and significant aspect of marketing. Ask any professional promotion and marketing companies, such as The Print Group, and they will confirm the importance of strategic colour selection in influencing customer opinions and perceptions of products.

Colours Do Not Always Produce the Same Effects

Although colours can influence us in particular ways, personal preferences, the experiences we have had, cultural considerations and many other factors influence our responses to colours, so no two people’s reactions to colours in advertising will be identical.

The Influence of Colour

For any business, branding is important. Perception of colour is significant when deciding on the branding of your business and there are some general ideas about the kinds of emotions that individual colours bring. For example:

  • Yellow: The colour yellow is associated with optimism and suggests clarity and warmth. Companies such as Shell, McDonalds and IKEA feature yellow significantly in their branding.
  • Orange: Orange tones are often interpreted as friendly. This colour often evokes feelings of cheerfulness and confidence. Orange is used in the branding of Nickelodeon, Harley Davidson and Firefox.
  • Red: Red is the colour frequently used to evoke feelings of excitement. This colour, which is often used in its most bold tones, can bring a sense of youthfulness. Coca-Cola, Target and Virgin feature red in their logos and branding.
  • Purple: Some companies opt for pink and purple tones in their branding to create an effect of imagination, wisdom and creativity. Yahoo, Barbie and Cadbury are good examples of companies who use these shades in their marketing.
  • Blue: Although blue is used in many different tones and variations, this colour often represents trust. Blue is associated with dependability and strength. In their branding, American Express, Facebook and Ford make strong use of blue.
  • Green: Green is synonymous with calm and, for this reason, it is often used in health-related advertising. This colour is also suggestive of growth. For evidence of the use of green in company branding and marketing, BP, Starbucks and Land Rover are good examples.
  • Pale grey and silver: Tones of pale grey and silver, when used in advertising, represent balance and calm. They are quite neutral. Apple, Honda and Nike have used these tones in their marketing.

How Significant is the Effect of Colour in Marketing?

Some studies have shown that up to 90 per cent of instant decisions about many products are influenced by colours. Evidence also shows that the relationship between brands and colour is quite dependent on how appropriate the colour used is perceived to be for the particular brand. Essentially, this means that the colour used should be appropriate to the product being sold.

Colours Influence Brand Personality

Colours play a tremendous role in determining how a brand is perceived. Colours have an impact on consumer views of the personality of a brand and, given that studies have also revealed that the human brain prefers recognisable brands, colour is critical to the creation of brand identity.

When choosing a colour for marketing and branding purposes, consumer reactions to the appropriateness of colours in relation to the product are more significant than the actual colours used. All companies should consider the effects and perceptions of colour when making choices about their branding and marketing materials.

  

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