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how to use colours in marketing to generate emotions?

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Before we get into how to use colours in marketing, let's think about the concept of colour. The question may sound a bit basic, but what is a colour? It is an attribute that we perceive in objects when there is light. To be a bit more specific, colour is the impression produced on the retina by light rays reflected and absorbed by a body or object. Now, every time you upload a photo to Instagram you have the option to edit it and within this option there are three other options that you can adjust according to your preferences: brightness, hue and saturation. The latter are the three properties that colour possesses.

Brightness is the amount of light reflected by a surface compared to another white surface that receives the same luminosity. Hue is the property that differentiates one colour from another and is also known as hue. Saturation is the intensity, i.e. the lightness or darkness of a colour, i.e. it can be set to black or white.

Well, now that you know a little more about colour and its properties, we would like to tell you an interesting fact. In a survey of 2000 men and women between the ages of 14 and 97, it was shown that all of them related colours to feelings or qualities. According to this research the most and least appreciated colours are blue with 45%, green with 15%, red with 12%, black with 10%, yellow with 6%, violet with 3%, orange with 3%, white with 2%, pink with 2%, brown with 1% and others with 1%.

how can we use colours in terms of emotions?

Let's start from the following premise: advertising is visual. People look at everything that is visually attractive to them. But deep down, every colour carries a message, a meaning that transmits sensations that in turn produce emotions in people. Have you ever wondered if the colours of the Coca-Cola logo have a reason for being or if they simply occurred to them or if the colours of the KFC logo are trying to transmit a message? The truth is that everything has a reason for being in the world of marketing.

It is not only the design that is important to attract an audience, but also the colours and the proportions in which they are used. By employing effective colour marketing, brands can not only send messages, but they can also create emotions. For example, Coca-Cola's message is happiness. When you buy it, you are not just thinking of it as a drink, you are thinking of happiness and this can change your mood in seconds.

Before explaining how to use colours in marketing, it is important to know that colours are divided into 3 categories: primary, secondary and tertiary. In school we were taught that primary colours are those that cannot be achieved by mixing other colours and are red, blue and yellow. Secondary colours are those that are born from mixing primary colours and are violet, green and orange. Finally, tertiary colours are those that are formed by mixing a primary with a secondary giving rise to a range of tones.

what meanings and emotions do colours produce in marketing?

Below, we will tell you a little about the emotions produced and the messages conveyed by primary colours:

  • Blue

It is the preferred colour. Blue is the colour of sympathy, harmony and fidelity despite being cold and distant. It is a colour associated with spiritual virtues. There are 111 shades of blue. Although blue is the colour of remoteness, it is also the colour of fidelity. This last one sounds contradictory, but fidelity has to do with remoteness, as you have to stay away in order not to be unfaithful.

For example, in English, blue is especially linked to fidelity in the phrase "true blue", representing the solid union of colour and feeling, and the English wedding rite "something old" demands "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" as a bride's trousseau.

This is why at Charles and Diana's wedding this ritual was observed in the Spencer's borrowed tiara and earrings, which belonged to his mother. So, if you are looking to convey calm and confidence, blue is the right colour for your brand. However, in darker shades it represents elegance and freshness.

  • Red

The colour of all passions, from love to hate. It is the colour of kings and consumerism, of joy and danger. There are 105 shades of red. It symbolises fire, blood and life, aggressiveness, war and control.

Now, to explain a little about how to use colours in marketing, it is important to talk about combinations, as this colour has a completely different effect when combined with other colours. For example, red combined with pink conveys innocence, combined with violet it is seductive, but combined with black it becomes aggressive and violent. Pay attention to what you want to convey with the colours of your brand.

Red is an omnipresent colour in advertising. In marketing, it means power, attraction and it gets the public's attention. A lighter shade will generate enthusiasm, as in the case of Coca Cola. Its advertising campaigns are cheerful, exciting and at the same time transmit confidence. Using this colour at the right moment awakens positive feelings and is good for the brand. In addition, red is stimulating and is associated with being active, increases the heart rate and stimulates the appetite. For this reason, some fast food chains such as KFC or McDonald's use it in their logos.

  • Yellow

The most contradictory colour, as it is the colour of joy, fun, understanding and betrayal. The yellow of gold, but also of sulphur. There are 115 shades of yellow. 6% of women and men prefer this colour. This colour is present in experiences and symbols related to the sun, light and gold. But why do so few people like it? This colour is very unstable, as a dash of red turns it orange and a dash of blue turns it green, a dash of black makes it dirty and it disappears.

Envy is yellow, jealousy is yellow, greed is yellow. Likewise, irritability and anger are linked to the presence of bile which, curiously enough, is yellow, well more of a greenish yellow. In some countries, the expression "don't make bile" is widely used to say "don't get angry", for example.

On the other hand, it is a risky, bright and flashy colour. Children are attracted to this colour, as it is very bright and transmits happiness. This colour definitely stands out wherever you look at it, which is why brands such as NERF or HOT WHEELS, manufacturers of children's toys, have it in their logos.

Thanks to some research, it has been proven that consumers get an idea and opinion of the brand or product in less than 90 seconds from their first contact with them and between 62% and 90% of this interaction is based on the colour of the product. Others say that 82% of consumers choose a product because of the colour. The truth is that colour can increase your brand recognition by up to 80%. So, do not rush and take the time to evaluate what you want to convey with your brand before choosing a colour just because you like it a lot. And remember: People do not only want to consume, they want to be excited. Think about this to find the perfect colour for your brand.

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