Colour in Advertising: Why The Colours In Your Retail Display Matter

Effective retail merchandising relies on a number of factors, not the least of which is colour. We all know that colour can affect people’s general mood. This is no different for colour in advertising. Picking the right colours for your advertising can have an impact on the mood of your audience - which can have a positive impact on sales.

Research conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 found that over 84 percent of people think that colour is more important than many other factors when choosing a product to purchase. Similarly, the Institute for Color Research found that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of seeing it and that between 62 to 90 percent of their assessment is based on colour alone.

Colour in Advertising: Choosing Colour Vs. Black & White

Research has shown that colour ads are read up to 42 percent more than similar ads in black and white. Black and white pictures hold people’s interest for less than two-thirds of a second, but a coloured image may hold attention for more than two seconds.

Colours inspire emotions that might otherwise be absent from merchandising pieces. For example, yellow is perceived as a friendly colour, blue makes people feel calm and relaxed and green is perceived as environmentally friendly.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example.

“The colour black is often associated with luxury or premium products,” notes Middleton Group Creative Director Tony Spagnolo. He points to the President’s Choice Black Label Collection of fine foods as an example (See feature image on this page). Black combined with a primary colour creates a contrast that creates a strong presence on store shelves.

The right colour in advertising can improve the odds that your marketing collateral catches your target audience’s attention. In a well-known marketing experiment, Heinz changed the colour of their ketchup from red to green and sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months -  the highest sales increase in the brand’s history.

Colour in Advertising: How Age and Gender Matter

Favourite colours vary by age and gender. In one survey, many women and men picked blue as their preferred colour, but more men (57 percent) than women (35 percent) picked blue overall. No men chose purple, while 23 percent of women selected it as their favourite. The preference for blue increases with age. As people mature, they develop a greater liking for hues of shorter wave length (blue, green and purple) than for hues of longer wave length (red, orange and yellow). Overall, orange, brown and yellow were found to be people’s least favourite colours.

While the colour in advertising is most often dictated by company branding, we offer printing options that can increase the impact of your colour choices. Have a look at our Middleton Group portfolio to see how we work with our clients to enhance their retail merchandising displays.

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