Colors in Advertising
The advertising world revolves around the principle of attraction. Whatever the product, in the end, the advertisement should attract the consumer. How do ads manage to attract attention? One of the first things you notice about any advertisement is the colors. In ads that don’t have a multimedia advantage (like ads in the newspaper or on a billboard), the colors and design are the only things holding the ad together. Colors, therefore, are one of the things that advertising experts study, especially since they can have so many different connotations in different contexts. It’s essential to use colors to project an image of the product—is it a warm, family oriented-thing? Is it a bright, colorful kiddy thing? Is it a novelty? Is it a cool teen thing? All of these factors are portrayed by the color schemes of advertisement, which connects the colors to the simple, hardcore human factor.
Red is an extremely powerful color. It is the bang that hits your eyes, and as a result, it symbolizes energy, power, vitality and vigor. Red is an attractive color to nearly everyone—it’s the first color babies can see, the most popular color among children, and generally liked by adults as well. Since it has the ability to physically affect humans by increasing the breathing and pulse rate, it can be used for anything exciting and able. Sometimes the power of products is described by the use of red, with active use of red in the motor industry and its associated products—red is speed, red is the beat, red is the groove. In addition, red is used to arouse adult men and women. Therefore, it’s used in beauty products like nail polish, lipstick and perfume. Red’s ability to stimulate the appetite makes it an excellent tool in food products as well. Sometimes red is used to symbolize fast-acting pills. Since red is associated with the more passionate emotions (both love and hate!) it’s the only color that can really portray any vigorous reaction—you can’t use green, blue or purple for those red hearts or that red-faced dog in cartoons. Thus, overall, red is a pretty useful advertising color.
Green is the nature color. In today’s world, green has a very strong association with the get-green fad and environment movements. As a result, green portrays health and nature more than ever. Along with this, green has the nurturing and tranquil effect, as it happens to be the easiest color for the eye to see. Green is synonymous with harmony, and is a very, very utile color in advertising. If you can recollect those green check marks and the red x marks you see in advertisements, you’ll agree that green also stands for the right thing. In some contexts, green is like the green traffic light signaling go; so that’s another way ads can subtly manipulate green. Of course, the lighter shades of green are strongly connected to freshness and vitality. A lot of revitalizing creams and refreshing drinks like tea are advertised in green. On the other hand, green is also associated with money and financial power—think about the US dollars—meaning that sometimes it can be used to depict fast-earning schemes and investment plans.
Blue is probably the universal favorite. As a cool shade, it not only promotes serenity and clarity, it also denotes intellect and precision. Blue has a lot of significance in formality and elegance, especially in its deeper shades. You might have noticed the many ads using blue luxury cars, navy-blue suits and rich blue office rooms. Since it increases the concentration ability, blue can also be used to highlight the effectiveness of a product in terms of its smooth running. The cold side of blue is used to show refreshing cool drinks and icy cold mountain water. It’s also associated with purity and clarity, which is why window cleaners, mineral water, and glasses are all given blue tints. Blue is also associated with masculinity and can be used accordingly. Although it is a versatile color, blue loses out on food products as it suppresses the appetite. Therefore, it is unwise to use blue in the field of food products.
Yellow is a two-faced advertising color. Although it is the most eye-catching color, yellow can be fatiguing to the eye and overbearing to the mind. The use of yellow for important things, though, can be a good property as well. Yellow is a happy, energetic color, that sometimes symbolizes rejuvenation; hence the use of the color yellow in beauty products. But somehow, the color remains distasteful to men, maybe because of its conventional “cheap” connotation. Yellow is also used to show the scrumptious attraction of buttery food products, the sunshiny cheerfulness of toys and such, and the happy child atmospheres in general. People tend to associate yellow to sunshine and happiness, so towards that effect, it remains a good advertising color tool.
Purple is the luxury color. High quality in its elegance, it’s often used to attract women, who find the color irresistible. Because of its costly appearance, it can affect perception of bargain hunters, while at the same time giving quality to cheaper products. As a result, purple is overall a regal mark of the feminine; with teenage girls forming the largest proportion of purple fans.
Orange is a more neutral shade of red. It has all the energetic warmth of the warmer half of the color wheel, but it doesn’t have red’s association with negative emotions. It is used as an adrenaline power shot, with a lot of use in energy drinks, orange-flavorings and children-associated products. On the negative side, though, orange can give a very strong impression of shoddy cheapness, so although it shouldn’t be used on luxury products, it can be used for low-price things like fast-food and bargains. While orange also stimulates the appetite, it shouldn’t be used for the more expensive food products. It’s usually reserved for the candy and the soft drinks.
Pink—the number one feminine color in the world. Known for its attractive quality, pink is used all over as the “in” advertising color for all things girl-related. Also used as a pastel color, pale pink is a baby-color as well. Pale pink is used in baby lotions and powders, and it can also represent silky smoothness in other lotions for women. Although it can have a calming effect, men often find pink an irritating reminder of female existence—not something they like to acknowledge! Maybe because of its feminine quality, pink also represents sweetness and angelic cherubs. As a result, pink food products can entice the sweet-teeth of consumers all around.
Black is the smooth shade of exclusivity. Shiny black is a mark of excellence, while black on the whole is a very formal color in advertising, hinting of corporate touches. Although black tends to be a more traditional color, it can be used to give class to advertisement as well. Black text is one of the most conventional bromides of advertising, but experts are finding it useful to change traditional black on white writing as it makes information pop out better.
White, on the other hand, is the cool airy shade of purity. Used a lot to depict cleaning substances, it’s also often used to give a calm look to a room shown in an advertisement. Modern and abstract, white remains a favorite where clear-cut lines play a role.
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