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The psychology of colors in marketing and advertising

The psychology of colors in marketing and advertising

November 9, 2022

The game with colors in the production of marketing and advertising has become an essential element, due to the automatic reaction associated with a certain color, which produces certain emotional reactions. Numerous studies ensure that each color maintains a relationship with different reactions to it, and thus, advertising has learned to benefit from it.


The color used has been proven to have a strong effect on increasing sales, which is why the psychology of color has become a key component of advertising. As against this, strategies with different color levels of color are used depending on the emotion you want to stimulate, turning color into an essential component of business operations. In this article Psychology Online we will show you color psychology in marketing and advertising, exposing the meaning of colors in advertising.


Color psychology

Edwin D. Babbitt (1878), without realizing it, developed what we now know as color psychology, becoming a driver for aspects of the color game in marketing. Color psychology is a branch of study that aims to analyze how colors affect us, how we perceive colors and the emotions that give us different ranges of colors.


This field of study has been applied above all else in marketing and advertising. Everything that we see and depict in advertisements is designed to attract the attention of the audience and awaken certain emotions to a particular group. However, the psychology of color is not only applied in advertising to increase sales. The colors, for example, that are chosen to decorate a store or those used for the logo of a particular brand, are also carefully chosen to awaken the effect on you. Thus, sellers or advertisers use this tool to elicit emotions such as joy, calmness, desire, passion or irritability. Faced with this, we must bear in mind that on many occasions it is our emotions that make the decision to consume and not the rational ideas we have formulated.


The psychology of color in marketing and advertising

Although the symbolism of each color has not been empirically validated in the scientific field, many of the most common colors have been associated with different emotional reactions, accepted in Western culture. That is, colors can affect mood. Another important author on the psychology of color is Eva Heller.

Next, let's see the meaning that has been associated with these colors and that they are used in the world of marketing and advertising. In the following sections we will see the meaning of colors in psychology.


The meaning of white color

White is generally associated with light, purity, kindness, innocence and cleanliness. The white color in advertising and marketing has a positive connotation in the eyes of the buyer. In advertising, they tend to be used to promote freshness and cleaning, as well as medicinal products. We also see white in ads about new technologies, with the goal of communicating ease.


The meaning of yellow color

Yellow is the color of sunlight and, according to color psychology, symbolizes joy, happiness, intelligence, energy, warmth and optimism. For this reason, yellow has been used to promote pleasant emotions and tends to be used in advertisements related to entertainment or children's products. Yellow is the first color that catches our attention and the most if it is used in contrast to black, which is why it is the defining color for painting traffic lights. However, we must be careful with this color, because its excess can have an annoying effect. Here you can see in depth the meaning of yellow color in psychology.



The meaning of orange color

Orange represents a combination of the energy sensations of red and the happiness expected of yellow. According to the psychology of color, orange carries the emotions of enthusiasm, attraction, creativity, determination, success and encouragement. All these emotions are emotions that have an active and stimulating effect on mental activity. Usually, this color is used to advertise food products, as it is associated with stimulating appetite and toys.



The meaning of red color

The color red is associated with strength, determination, desire, passion, danger or love, according to color psychology. It represents a color with a high emotional intensity, which is associated with an increase in heart rate and high blood pressure. Often, it is used in advertisements for advertisements with tempting content, such as lipstick, shoes or nail color. On the other hand, it is also appropriate to advertise aspects related to energy, such as energy drinks, sports, risky activities, cars or motorcycles. Here you can see in depth the meaning of the color red in psychology.


The meaning of purple color

Purple is associated with wealth and opulence. According to color psychology, it signifies feelings of power, well-being, ambition, creativity, independence and dignity. However, it is used in advertisements to promote products intended for women or children before adolescence, because it is a color that is not found much in nature and is associated with magic and mystery.


The meaning of blue color

Blue, although the coolest color, is the most attractive to the vast majority of people, being the color of the sky and the sea. Blue is associated with wisdom, conscience, intelligence, truth, trust and loyalty. With this, the color has become very suitable for promoting products related to cleaning, both personal and household and all items related to sea, air, sky or water. As well as white, it is also used to promote technological products. According to color psychology, blue is not suitable for food advertisements, as it acts as an appetite suppressant.


The meaning of green color

The main color of nature, representative of such feelings as security, peace, freshness, abundance, calm, health, stability and resistance. Green tends to be associated with health aspects or advertising of products of natural origin, outdoor environmental activities and gardening. In addition, if a darker shade of green is used, it is very suitable for the promotion of financial and economic products.


The meaning of black color

Black is a color that evokes strong emotions, and may represent the emotions of strength, stubbornness, authority, power, formality, elegance and mystery. However, it tends to be used to intensify other colors that are placed next to it to increase contrast and attention to that color. In terms of color psychology in marketing and advertising, black tends to be associated with classic, luxury, or high-end products.



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