The Influence of Colour on Brand and Video Communications
How does colour affect the way we feel about brands and people?
Everyone has a favourite colour, and interestingly colours play an important role in influencing the consumers’ perceptions of a brand or product. The Scottish marketing company Penmax (penmax.co.uk) think so and have concluded that a vital element of success for an entrepreneur is that they should have an understanding of colour psychology before they brand their business. “Colour can influence emotions and perceptions of goods and services,” says Kirsty Pennel, the managing director of Penmax.
So how do the colours work:
Associated with energy, passion and strength. Red is an emotionally intense colour that calls for action to be taken. Think of some of the brands that use red in their logo or styling; Virgin and Coca Cola some immediately to mind, don’t they? Do we feel energised and influenced to take action? I think we do, we associate Virgin with passion and energy; Coca Cola with fun loving action taking people. However, the Red Cross also uses Red, and that inspires a very different form of taking action, but still has energy and strength behind it. In video production, how often do you see someone wearing red? Not that often actually, it’s not a great colour, although some can carry it off.
A soothing colour. It promoted peace, tranquillity and reliability. The safest colour for a conservative brand to use due to the message of trust and honesty it portrays. This colour is often used for financial services, pensions advisors, banks – yes of course, Barclays is one of the High Street blues, but lots of other smaller businesses where trust and reliability are important use blue in their brand. On video, blue is always a good choice – although it did lead to a change in TV technique which used to be called Blue Screen or ChromaKey which is explained in the next section.
Nature’s colour. Symbolises growth, serenity and healing. This colour brings a sense of peace and balance to the viewers. It’s now often the colour of choice for ChromaKey effects on video and television; the particular green that is used is highly unlikely to be something that would be worn by anyway, although we have had it happen – fortunately our editing suites and editors are clever enough to get round that little problem, though I won’t bore you with the technicalities. Anyway, it’s often used for caring professions, and for enterprises where social wellbeing, environmental concerns and so on are important. However, it is also integral to BP’s logo, and that’s perhaps not quite so easy to understand after the oil spillages in the oceans and the fumes we hear a lot about from the use of cars fuelled with petrol.
Colour associated with power and authority, can be scary and intimidating. High-end clothing and car manufacturers use this colour often. It’s often seen as a strong, quality product – think of the cars that are black and silver, of perfumes that use black for their packaging. However, you rarely see a full black background on a TV set, unless you are going for the strong dramatic look. The idea behind this concept is the brand logos will attract more customers if the colour matches the goods and services personality. There does seem to be some evidence to support the concept. Of course, it’s not just printed matter and branding per se, in the world of video production colour is equally as important. We have to balance the colour of our lighting to create an even and warm look, well unless we want people to look intimidating or scary; a harsh light on a politician can create hard lines and make them look very severe, whereas a soft light may help the viewers warm to them.
What should you wear for Video?
The colours that people wear on television and in video productions are also important; red is a strong colour but it can drain the natural colour from a face, and if not post produced carefully can also vibrant strongly on the viewing screen making the experience less pleasant than it should be. Black can also drain the colour from the foreground, and needs careful lighting. Busy patterns, such as small checks, herring bone or zig zags can play havoc on a viewer’s screen and really detract from message retention. If you’d like to know what to avoid wearing for your next video appearance or get some guidance on how to prepare for a video contribution, then visit our website and take a look at our "Guide to Appearing on TV"