Impact of Colors in Advertisements

The human brain places a large emphasis on appearance. You receive information over 15x faster through your eyes than through your ears. Because of this, an appealing visual appearance is vital to any advertising campaign.

Today, we are going to focus on one of the most important visual items to focus on in your campaign, which is color. While there are many other methods on increasing visual appeal, and we will cover them in subsequent articles, color is often one of the most neglected by the beginning advertiser.

In direct marketing tests it has been shown that the proper selection of color, without any other changes, can increase the return on a mailing by up to 75%. Think about that, 75% just for choosing the proper color for your headline and ad copy, kind of makes you want to rethink going with a straight black and white print run to save a couple of dollars.

There is a reason that big budget companies spend billions in just color market research. They use this data on everything from product development, packaging and also advertising. They have found that color, along with content, helps retain a reader’s interest, encourages them to read to the end and increases the time that they spend actually studying an advertisement.

Colors have been proven to influence the behaviors of people, the US Navy has even admitted to using this research to assist in choosing colors to paint the interiors of their ships and submarines. Red assists in inducing buying behavior when used in headlines and is also shown to represent passion and love. Blue is said to have a relaxing effect. Brightness of the colors also comes into play. Food sales have shown that pictures of food sell better when they are very bright and have a great color depth.

The region that you are advertising in also affects your choices in color. Advertisements with predominantly warm colors tend to do better the closer you get to the equator conversely advertisements with predominantly cold colors tend to do better towards the poles. Subtle things, like white being associated with death in Asia while most westerners associate it with black, also need to be considered.

This all being said, it is a must for an advertiser to have an in depth knowledge about colors and their associated emotions and reactions. Black stands for elegance, sophistication, seduction and mystery. White stands for peace, pure, clean, mild and youthful. Gold stands for prestige, luxury and elite. Silver stands for prestige, scientific and cold. Yellow stands for warmth, happiness and cheer. Orange stands for warmth, playfulness, and vibrant. Red stands for love, excitement, strength, passion, and danger. Pink stands for nurture, sweet, soft, and security. Green stands for nature, fresh, fertility and abundance. Blue stands for cool, trust, belonging and reliability. And lastly Purple stands for spiritual, royalty, and dignity.

From an advertiser’s perspective, colors also determine the type of shopper that you are targeting. Black, blue, red and orange attract impulsive buyers. Smart shoppers are attracted to pink, light blue and navy blue colors. Yellow, red, blue and green, which are the primary colors, are the colors, which attract the children. When designing an advertisement the advertiser needs to avoid utilizing a color just because it is their favorite, and choose a color based upon the goals of the ad campaign.

Remember, advertising is an art just as much as it is a science; a trained graphics designer can help point out many common errors and mistakes that you may miss while you are learning. A simple consultation can mean many more dollars in your pocket from higher conversion rates, and more targeted customers.

Written by Glenn Cummins

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