Colour Psychology in Marketing

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Remember back to when we first took a look at the colour wheel? Well maybe you will recognize the picture above as it was on one of the Power Points from earlier in the semester. It is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, or just Goethe as you may know him as. In 1810, Goethe published a booked called ‘Theory of Colours’ in which he describes the different colours of the colour wheel and their unconscious psychological impact on humans. Now of course as with any theory there are going to be people who disagree, but with this theory many companies have applied it to their marketing attempts, and more specifically advertising.

According to June Campbell a researcher in the field some of the emotions that certain colours create are:

–          Red – strength, passion, excitement

–          Blue –trust , reliability,

–          Yellow –warmth, happiness

–          Orange –playfulness

–          Green –nature, fresh

–           Purple –royal, Spirituality

–          Pink –soft, sweet, nurture

–          White –pure, clean

–          Black –elegant, seductive, mystery

–          Gold –prestige, expensive

–          Silver –prestige, cold, scientific

Now for the interesting part of all this. Check out some advertisements and websites of companies that have got a lot of money for market research and pay attention to the colours they use. Many times you can notice the use of colour will reflect the emotions that the company is trying to get its customers to feel.

One good example that June gives is the website of the car company Jaguar (http://www.jaguar.com/ca/en/). On their site you can notice the silver back ground which indicates prestige and scientific, the writing and accents are black which shows elegant, and the red fonts for excitement. As most people know Jaguar is a luxury car company with some high performance cars which reflects the colours found on the webpage.

This won’t always be the case as trends change in advertising and companies have different budgets for advertising research. Some companies will also stick to their logo colours. Try checking out some different companies that you like and see if the feelings you get from the colours match what is listed above.

For more information about June Campbell’s study check out http://www.nightcats.com/samples/colour.html

-Blaise Theriault

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