How to use Colors that will Appeal to Consumers
By: Selena McIntyre
The colors you use for an advertisement are more important than the actual wording of the
ad. The reason for this is the colors (and graphics) capture the consumers’ attention then causes them to
read your ad. According to psychology.about.com, "Psychologists have suggested that color impression can
account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of that product or service." Please look at this example. You
will see one advertisement that is solid black and white, and right beside it you see an ad that is blue,
yellow, and black. Which one would you read first? Would you even read the black and white
Each color has different meanings to different cultures. For advertising purposes, it is
extremely important to design your ads in a way that appeals to your target market. Try to choose colors that
will compliment the message you are sending to your consumers.
Red is a color that symbolizes action, warmth, power, aggression, excitement, drama, fire,
blood, passion, love, danger, anger, and heat. It is a highly visible color that will always attract
attention. Red will also stimulate several emotions.
Stop signs have trained us to stop and look when we see red. So it is only natural to want
to stop and look at a red billboard.
Studies show that people in casinos gamble more in red rooms than room with any other
colors. Red is also a good color for automobiles sales, pet shops, pasta shops, pizzerias, and
However, the color red is not recommended for medical companies because it signals bad
health, blood, and emergencies. Red is also the color accountants use to show that they have a negative cash
Orange is a vibrant and fun color. It improves mental clarity, promotes warmth and
happiness. Orange also increases the oxygen's flow to the brain. Contentment, fruitfulness, and wholesomeness
are qualities that are also associated with orange.
The color orange can help an expensive product seem more reasonably priced. It is the
perfect color for products that appeal to a wide variety of people.
Orange is an appetite stimulant. It is a good color choice for vitamin shops, Mexican
restaurants, dance clubs, and products that target Latin and French people.
Yellow is a perfect color for sunny, happy, bright, cheerful, playful, easygoing, and
optimistic advertisements. Ideal for florists, candy shops, toy stores, amusement parks, and discount
Yellow is the first color the eye processes. It is also the most visible color to the human
eye. This is why it grabs attention faster than any other color.
Yellow is also a color of caution. Most yellow road signs are warning drivers of a problem
in the road or with the on-coming traffic. This is just another reason why yellow grabs our attention
Green symbolizes life, nature, environment, youth, money, renewal, hope, and power. It is a
color that soothes people, reduces pain, and makes us feel safe.
Since green traffic lights have conditioned us to go forward or to enter places, it makes
us feel welcomed. This is a great quality for any product or service.
Yellow-green is not a wise color for food advertisements because it is an appetite
Light green calms people. That is why most walls in jails, schools, waiting rooms, and
hospitals are light green.
Green is a great color for financial advisors, banks, and accountants because it signals
money. It is also good for outdoor products because it gives consumers a natural outdoor feeling. The color
green can be used for green houses, vegetable stands, landscaping, and farmers because it signals
Blue makes people feel calm, relaxed, tranquil, peaceful, wise, loyal, and trustworthy. It
helps people accept themselves and resolve their problems. The color blue also helps increase productivity.
On the other hand, the color blue can also symbolize sadness, and depression. Since most
foods are not blue, the color blue is an appetite suppressant that can help people lose
Blue is definitely the most popular color of both men and women. Several well-known
corporations use blue in their logos. It is a great color choice for travel agencies, pool companies,
masseurs, doctors offices, pharmacies, medical suppliers, motels, psychologists, and weight loss
Purple is a sophisticated, creative, luxurious, and wealthy color. It is also associated
with royalty. A bluish shade of purple tends to create mystery, while a reddish shade of purple is sensual,
and creative. Purple with a red tint will get more attention.
Purple is hard for some people (mainly men) to see. However, it is a great color for
artists, elaborate restaurants, clothing stores, book stores, art galleries, night clubs, magicians,
photographers, country clubs, golf courses, jewelry stores, beauticians, and fortune
Brown symbolizes coffee, lumber, and earth-tone products. It is a reliable, solid, strong,
mature, and comfortable color. Brown is now considered a rich and robust
The color brown is an excellent color for hardware stores, coffee houses, craft shops,
herbal shops, health food stores, male haberdasheries, cabinet shops, western stores, contractors, clock
shops, and carpenters.
Black symbolizes power, prestige, elegance, style, reliability, simplicity, and
sophistication. The color black is more about attitude than anything else. It is a trendy color that keeps
consumers up to date with technology. It is also a very informative
Black used to be viewed as the color of death, witches, demons, and evil. However, this
perception is declining. Black is a great color choice for music shops, accountants, lawyers, electronic stores, and
White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, virtue, innocence, and
freshness. The color white is a great choice for bridal shops, weddings, religious groups, daycare
centers, medical facilities, wineries, dentists, catering companies, bakeries, museums, historical sites, bed
and bath shops, dry cleaners, and cleaning services.
Please be careful, because white is a color of death and mourning is China, Japan, and
other Middle East countries.
Once you have selected the right color(s) for your business, be sure to find out what
colors effectively compliment your color choice.
Source: psychology.about.com 2001 (c) Copyright 2002
Selena McIntyre has been a Creative Designer for BPS Outdoor Media since
1999. She has a Marketing Degree and several years of customer service experience. Selena has studied art most of her life and continues to do so
now. She designs most of BPS’s billboards and has written several articles about the outdoor advertising
industry. To see some of her work please visit http://www.bpsoutdoor.com/blog/
This article is provided as a courtesy from www.OutdoorBillboard.com
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