Color in the Ad

A lot can be said about a good brand. A brand is instantly recognized, assures customers of product quality, and solidifies customer loyalty. Some brands are founded on logos, others on catchphrases, and still others on mascots. All of these brands have their own colors that are immediately recognizable and are often the first connection a consumer makes to the brand. But what happens when your brand is color? Does it get harder when the product you’re trying to sell uses color for its marketing concept? Doesn’t look like it for these three companies:


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Kool-Aid is that sugary drink that you definitely had as a kid (and may still enjoy from time to time now). Why do I know you drank it as a kid? Because you were its target demographic, and the company got you to drink its product by selling you something very specific. Adweek posted an article last month showing the history of Kool-Aid’s advertisements, and they all have one thing in common: they never seem to mention taste but always highlight how colorful and happy the drinks are. This is ingenious, because who wouldn’t want a tall glass of the deepest royal purple or of the brightest summer-grass green? You know your twelve-year-old self certainly did.


Have you seen Skittles ads? They don’t want you to just “Taste the Rainbow.” They want to make sure you know they are the rainbow. Skittles has been putting all its effort into marketing to the social generation, because they are the new youth. This recent campaign uses clever text describing the experience of eating Skittles along with bright, colorful, and captivating imagery. Skittles ads are always image-heavy, with a rainbow motif mixed in. And more likely than not, you think of Skittles every time you see a rainbow.


All right, I admit that Apple’s brand isn’t based solely on color. But every product normally gets a color campaign at some point. Remember the iMacs? Those candy-shaded desktops were made to be customizable to you, in whatever color fit your personality. Later on, the iPod’s iconic silhouette commercials featured Technicolor dance parties. Even though the iPod was made for everyone, it was going to bring you joy and happiness so you could be like the silhouette. Now, the latest ad from Apple (above) presents the new iPod and iPod nano.  Although thinner, smaller, and with more capabilities than before, the key feature here is color. Bouncing all around, the iPods come in a wide range of colors, so pick the one that helps you express yourself. Brilliant.

You can go into color psychology, brand recognition, or any number of reasons why color is important to ad campaigns, but at the end of the day, the bright, shiny colors are attractive and you want it. Color is just as much a selling point as device capabilities or the taste of food (and might even overshadow more important features). So experiment with color, and sell it as a commodity. It’s one of the most valuable ones you have.


One response to “Color in the Ad

  1. Pingback: Why color is important to ad campaigns « The Girl In Pearls

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