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Healthy Food or Hearty Marketing

Healthy Food or Hearty Marketing

It’s a marketing tactic that’s as simple as they come, but it works. And once you start noticing it, you realise that it’s everywhere. We asked our Head of Creative, Olly, about how colour is used to influence potential customers into associating brands with certain values.

When you think of a food ad, what do you think of? Is it a McDonald’s ad with their tall juicy Big Mac and unfeasibly bright green lettuce? Or is it the M&S ads with their slow-motion roast chicken carving? Or perhaps it’s the Dolmio ad with their wholesome puppet Italian family values?

The chances are that when you start thinking about the food depicted on TV or talked about on the radio, you picture that food and undergo a biological reaction as your body starts to crave it. The role of the marketer is to create the urgency that makes you go out and buy the food or visit that restaurant, and to instil a brand belief in you so that you feel purchasing that food is a good idea. This is all a result of the brand resonating with you in some way.

How food is edited in video is a really good indicator of company values – because they tend to push the aspects that they want you to associate with the brand. But how much of that is a true representation of what the brand really is in practice?

For example, a study into consumer psychology and behaviour revealed that consumers are more likely to purchase a cereal bar – believing that they are making a healthy choice – when the calorie content is written in green. They are less likely to purchase if the calorie content is written in red, even if it’s the same number.

Similarly, we often see TV advertisements of food where the food itself is nothing like what you’d receive if you asked for the same meal in a restaurant. This is because enhancers are used to make the food look healthier and more aesthetically pleasing than it actually is.

It’s a marketing tactic that’s as simple as they come, but it works. And once you start noticing it, you realise that it’s everywhere. We asked our Head of Creative, Olly, about how colour is used to influence potential customers into associating brands with certain values.

 

How much of a factor is colour when you’re designing an ad?

It’s a major factor because colours are associated with certain things. For example, luxury products are often depicted in purple, blacks, silvers, and gold because they have expensive connotations. When you think of gold, you think of actual gold. It’s as simple as that.

 

When you’re considering which colours to use, what are the deciding factors?

Competitors are one aspect, depending on whether you want to stand out or blend in with the marketplace.

I’d also look at USPs. For example, if I was marketing a nutritional breakfast bar brand that had nuts ethically sourced from the rainforest, I would want to push that factor and look at doing so with colour and design. It’s essentially about manipulating stereotypes and causing people to associate your brand with other aspects associated with the colours that you use, be that wealth, happiness, or health.

 

Were you educated on the key connotations of colour when you studied? Can you provide an overview of your teachings?

Everything starts with an idea. You should be able to answer the important questions – why are you doing this? It has to be justified. I.e., why are we using yellow? And specifically, why this yellow? What does this yellow mean to our brand? Even within colours, there are subcategories that have different connotations. There’s mustard yellow and then there’s sun yellow – and these two hues instil completely different feelings.

In short, colour is important – but it’s a starting point and it has to work alongside everything else within the branding if you want to influence spending behaviour.

  • Olly
    CreativeAmbitious.
    Engaging.
    Mr Blue-Sky.
    OllyHead of
    Creative

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