Is Colour a Vital Part of Advertising?

Design is a critical aspect of any marketing campaign and the look of your ads can make your effort and investment worthless if they aren’t right.

Colour is a highly influential part of design — and according to studies, each hue evokes a different emotion, which could be anything from urgency to trust. Considering some experiments imply that colour can dictate how long we are able to remember an offer, it’s clear knowing how to use in marketing is important.

Interested? Browse this marketing colour psychology guide for tips…

Colour and enhancing your promotions

Colour has long been linked to psychology, but connecting colour to industries such as marketing and interior design is slightly more recent. An experiment commented on by Canberra-based, Content Group, found that 90% of snap decisions about products are based on colour only.

Is your audience mainly one gender? If so, a study published in the Journal of Retailing found that males think that sales are greater in value when promoted in red rather than black. Conversely, fewer women believed the same. Also, purple was considered a second-favourite colour for female respondents in a colour study while it was the second-least favourite among males. Equally, women prefer softer hues, while stronger shades are the hue-of-choice for men.

The point of colour psychology in marketing is to get a response. Use yellow to catch the eye of a passer by in your store window and red to signify discount prices — this is because, apparently, red evokes ‘urgency’ and so, is good to boost a sale. Red and yellow are warm shades, and according to an experiment, warm colours are better at staying in a person’s mind than cool colours (such as blue). Could you use warm oranges, reds and yellows to keep your brand logo or newest promotional offer in the mind of someone driving by one of your billboard ads?  

Merging certain shades could also be useful in marketing. Another study found that opposing colours enhanced readability levels — vital if you want your printed pull-up banners to remain readable from a greater distance than usual.

Art Lovers Australia states that personal understanding of colour comes partially from experiences and culture. Although this may be true and not all consumers will be affected in the same way, colour psychology has been researched multiple times and is worth bearing in mind to boost your future campaigns.

Boosting your brand with colour

Research compiled by Kissmetrics states that nearly nine out of ten shoppers claim a colour is a major reason for buying and that colour boosts the ability to recognise a brand by approximately 80%.

The following are emotions associated with each colour and examples of the successful brands that use them:

Colour             Effect    Logo
Yellow Hopefulness and warmth            [yellow tail] and McDonalds       
Green Growth and relaxation Starbucks and Spotify
Pink Romance and femininity Barbie and Very
Purple Creativity and intelligence Cadbury and Hallmark
Black Power and luxury Chanel and Adidas
Orange Confidence and happiness Nickelodeon and Fanta
Red Energy and excitement Coca Cola and Arnott’s
Blue Trust and safekeeping Facebook and hp

Has Starbucks been tactical by choosing green and evoking relaxation in their coffee houses? And Arnott’s got it right by evoking excitement to encourage its consumers to by its treats, like Tim Tam? Perhaps, and you could do the same. According to June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today: “One of the greatest assets and one of the easiest ways to sway decision or attract an emotive response — or alienate a consumer — is through colour.”

Eight out of ten clients believe a colour is responsible for brand identification. To help customers build familiarity with your brand, make sure your logo reflects what your offer and the persona you want to adopt.   

Using colour in your campaigns

Think it’s too late to incorporate colour? Danish beer company, Carlsberg, rebranded itself perfectly. Opting to use mainly white in its Carlberg Export packaging and altering its once-green bottles to brown, Carlsberg enjoyed a sales increase of 10% in just 12 weeks.

Here’s how to emulate this success with colour?

  • Use red and yellow to grab attention.  
  • With only seven seconds to make a bold first impression, use opposing colours to boost clarity and readability.
  • Think about if you sell to mainly men or women and remember the above research about different colour perceptions…
  • Determine how you want to be recognised as a brand and tweak your campaigns accordingly — include orange to inject fun into your ads or use sleek black to infuse your promotions with an air of luxury.

Consider the power of colour and boost your marketing success today.


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