How Colors Can Make or Break Ads

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Filed Under Marketing & Advertising


Attention-grabbing advertisements are often the most visually appealing ones. No matter how great your brand is, it probably won't get noticed if it's in an ad or a landing page that's as interesting as paint drying.

Studies show that the visual appeal of a product, ad, or landing page has the most weight for consumers. According to KissMetrics, users “place visual appearance and color above other factors when shopping.” In fact, according to the research company, “85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.”

This is why you should invest significant time and effort in making sure that the graphic elements of your ads—from the fonts and logos to the images and colors—are all working together to bring the highest conversion rates.

Speaking of colors, always make sure that you're using the appropriate hues for your target audience and products. It may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised about the number of ads that didn't convert simply because the colors were all wrong. If you're uncertain about look and feel of your ads, then keep on testing them. Experiment with different colors, shades and hues until you come up with a formula that's going to sell.

What Colors Mean

Different colors have varying psychological effects on users. Choose your colors depending on the type of people you're targeting and products that you're selling.

For instance, if you wish to convey energy and hype, go with Orange, Yellow, or Red. According to KissMetrics, Orange denotes aggressiveness and can be used in calls to action such as “buy” or “subscribe.” Need to attract window shoppers? Consider using the color Yellow which communicates optimism and youth. On the other hand, the color Red tells users to do something immediately—it conveys energy, gets a person's heart pumping, and can usually be spotted at clearance sales.

Conversely, if you need to relax or calm your customers, then Green or Purple can be good options for you. Apparently, Green is “the easiest color for the eyes to process” and can effectively relax consumers. Being the color of US Dollar bills, it is also associated with wealth. Purple on the other hand is “often seen in beauty or anti-aging products,” and can be used as a soothing or calming color for people.

If you're trying to connect to a more upscale market, consider incorporating the color Black in your ad campaigns. Aside from being “powerful and sleek,” this color can be effective in selling high-end products or services.

Unsurprisingly, if you're targeting the female demographic or if you're running a campaign for Valentine's Day, then go with the color Pink. Use it to pull the heartstrings of kids and romantics.

Think Blue is for boys? Not necessarily. According to KissMetrics, this color “creates the sensational of trust and security,” and is “often seen with banks and businesses.”

Who's Attracted to Which?

Aside from the psychological implications mentioned above, KissMetrics also notes that color “has the unique ability to attract specific types of shoppers and change shopping behavior.”

Apparently, impulsive shoppers are drawn to the colors Red Orange, Black and Royal Blue, while people on a budget would most likely flock towards Navy Blue or Teal. Meanwhile, you can use the colors Pink, Rose, or Sky Blue if you're marketing to traditional shoppers.


Image credit: JD Hancock on Flickr

About the author
Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio
Francesca is the founder of Credible Copywriting and has written for several organizations, including Internet start-ups, advertising agencies, and small businesses, just to name a few. She has helped individuals and entities put their names and messages out there by producing quality works in the form of articles, web content, video scripts, and more. Touch base with her at: or visit her website at: - Read more stories from .
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