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Can Color Persuade Us?

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It is impossible to predict a person’s behavior 100 percent of the time. However, it is possible to evoke a particular mood and motivate an individual without them even knowing it. This is not to say this is a conniving method, as it is only meant to motivate, not to force an individual into thinking a certain way. So how is this then done correctly? Let’s take a step back and first review what we know.

Brands choose to represent themselves with a particular logo, color scheme and overall aesthetic. You may have noticed that some brands have certain aspects in common such as color. For example, you might come across many cleaning companies that choose to represent themselves in advertisements and product design with the color green. This is because green represents freshness, nature and health. Therefore when you see the color green, your brain relates the product or service with health, which could in turn motivate the individual into purchasing, said product or service. This association can be seen between other colors and impact individuals in various ways.

 

Information from Iconic Fox

 

Red

Passion, excitement, hunger, power, fearlessness, energy

 

Blue

Trust, loyalty, dependability, logic, serenity, security

 

Green

Health, hope, freshness, nature, growth, prosperity

 

Yellow

Optimism, warmth, happiness, creativity, intellect, extroversion

 

Orange

Courage, warmth, friendliness, energy, innovation

 

Purple

Wisdom, wealth, spirituality, imaginative, sophistication

 

Pink/Magenta

Imaginative, caring, passionate, creative, innovative, quirky

 

White/Silver

Innocence, purity, cleanliness, simplistic, pristine

 

 

The above are the “positive” emotions that a person may experience when they come in contact with a particular color. However, colors will not always represent “positive” emotions and can instead evoke a “negative” emotion. We say “negative” because not every negative emotion is bad. For example, an advertisement for endangered animals might appear in a print ad with a blue and grey hue. A person may look at this and feel sad, but it could motivate the individual to donate to the organization and help the endangered animal. Below are some of the “negative” emotions that colors can represent.

 

Information from Iconic Fox

 

Red

Anger, danger, warning, aggression, pain, defiance

 

Blue

Coldness, emotionless, unfriendliness, unappetizing

 

Green

Stagnation, envy, boredom, blandness, debilitating

 

Yellow

Irrationality, fear, caution, anxiety, frustration, cowardice

 

Orange

Deprivation, frustration, immaturity, sluggishness, ignorance

 

Purple

Reflection, decadence, suppression, excess, moodiness

 

Pink/Magenta

Outrageous, rebellious, flippancy, impulsiveness

 

White/Silver

Sterile, empty, plain, cautious, distant

 

 

Colors as we can see, play a major role in the perception of a brand. They can make consumers experience “positive” and “negative” emotions and associate brands with certain characteristics. These characteristics and feelings are necessary for a brand to maintain a certain consistent identity. However, evoking a particular emotion in a consumer is only useful when it motivates the individual to act upon those feelings. When advertisements successfully portray an emotion that makes a consumer act upon those emotions, the ad was able to fulfill its call-to-action.

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