It has been found that the human brain receives signals faster through the eyes than the ears. Apparently, visual appearance is more appealing compared to any of the other senses, no matter what the medium of presentation is. (However, our other senses facilitate visual appeal, so should not be ignored.)
There are methods by which to increase visual appeal – a typical example is colour, when accompanied with audio and writing. Colour helps to make things look more attractive and engaging. Big budget companies spend billions in colour market research, which helps in product and packaging development. Colour, along with content, helps to attract and retain the interest of the viewer. A colourful article will hold the reader’s interest to the end.
Choice of Colour to Influence Behaviour
Colours are known to influence the behaviour of a person. For example, blue is said to have a relaxing effect, while red represents passion and love, so many dating websites have red as their background colour. On the other hand, red can also be associated with anger and evil, so a lot depends on the context in which you are using your colour scheme. Green is often associated with opulence and can be found in finance and banking media.
Lighting and Hue
Lighting effects are also used to create an effect and cause a desired response. Advertisements, especially for food products, have strategically placed lights. This triggers a response in the brain which increases hunger. Likewise, soft shades such as pastels create a mood that is calm and relaxing and are often used for spa advertisements.
Cultures and Colours
Not all colours mean the same in all countries. The same colour can be associated with two totally different occasions or emotions, depending on the culture in which it is used. In most Western societies, black is associated with death whereas in the East, white symbolises death. Likewise, climate plays a role – those living closer to the equator prefer warm colours such as orange, yellow, etc.
Common Colour Associations
It’s important for an advertiser to understand colour associations of their audience. Here are some common associations:
- Black: elegance, sophistication, seduction, mystery
- White: peace, pure, clean, mild, youthful
- Gold: prestige, luxury, elite
- Silver: prestige, scientific, cold
- Yellow: warmth, happiness, cheerful
- Orange: warmth, playfulness, vibrant
- Red: love, excitement, strength, passion, danger
- Pink: nurture, sweet, soft, security
- Green: nature, fresh, fertility and abundance
- Blue: cool, trust, belonging, reliability
- Purple: spiritual, royalty, dignity
Common Colours for Different Advertising Markets
The choice of colour for your company branding and advertising is important to the message about yourself that you want to convey to your market. For example, black, blue, red and orange attract impulsive buyers, whereas smart shoppers are attracted to pink, light blue and navy blue.
Advertisements for children generally have bright and vibrant colours such as yellow, red, blue and green. These are the primary colours and attract children, and represent warmth, sweetness, trust, reliability, playfulness and security.
Remember, It’s Not About You
Remember to use colours that ‘talk’ to your market. Avoid using your own favourite colours and preferences. Identify who your market is, what message you wish to convey and create your campaign appropriately.