Color Palettes in Advertisement

Color palettes in advertisement create a specific consumer/brand relationship. When used properly, color choice can evoke certain connections to the consumer in relation to the brand and its goal. The colors we perceive in daily life affect us drastically in the way we place our judgement, as well as impacting these associations relative to what is seen throughout nature. Marketing and branding utilizes this phenomenon in their strategies to attract customers in specific ways.


The color red is commonly used in food/drink advertisements. In American culture, red is the color of passion and love and is psychologically known to increase appetite. Representing feelings such as alertness and urgency, red is slyly used in advertisements, notably Coca-Cola, to promote impulsivity for the consumer- Buy! Buy! Buy! On the cooler end of the color spectrum, blue represents tranquility and serenity. Blue is used as a branding strategy for trusted and dependable companies such as Dell and other tech companies. The stimuli produced by blue encourages a sense of calmness. For the consumer, there is no need for skepticism or doubt in a color that is associated with water- our most dependable source for life.


Green is the color of health and peace. The etymology of the word green has shifted in providing a new perspective, from the name for color into the idea behind the color. “Go Green” is a term used for creating a more sustainable environment through green living, i.e. healthy eating, recycling, any and all actions which are environmentally conscious. This color, when used in advertising, draws attention from the eco-friendly consumers as it directly indicates nature. Yellow’s association with brightness and warmth increases the consumers happiness in response to the brand’s use of the color. Stimulating yellow also enhances creativity and mental processes, bringing attention to it’s sharp shade and the product behind the logo.


Sandwiched between energetic red and optimistic yellow, orange is an enthusiastic, cheerful color with a slightly warmer hue, projecting slight aggression to the eyes of the consumer. When seen in nature, orange is associated with citrus, vitamins, health and activity. However, it can be a bit stark in color and in that case may be associated with caution. When used in web design, orange enhances and pulls the overall information together when accented sparsely. High energy red and stable blue blend and harmonize producing purple, an enticing and powerful color associated with wisdom and magic. Purple is scarcely seen within nature, and this rarity indicates higher status when used within advertisement.


Advertisement is the reinforcement of these naturally occurring colors perceived on the light spectrum. Whether a campaign wants to go easy on the eyes of their consumers with colors carrying shorter wavelengths that are easier to process, or longer wavelengths capturing attention with urgency, it all comes down to the brand’s vision and goal for their company.