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Friday5: Hue Needs Color to be Successful

What makes a commercial memorable? The message? The characters? Personal connection? Is it funny? Do you even remember the product or service being sold? Marketing campaigns are designed to captivate and motivate viewers to take action. In a 30 second commercial, only so much can be explicitly said. Other than content, viewers could be persuaded by the setting, music or even the pace and production. What about subliminal content? One tactic is color usage. Many popular companies are known for specific colors. By complimenting brand image with a specific color, companies attracted potential clients on an emotional level without any realization. Below are 5 examples of companies that use colors to accentuate their message to potential users and clients.

HR Block

“GET YOUR BILLIONS BACK AMERICA.” Money is green and so is the color HR Block wants you to remember. You are connected to green. “Your money is waiting.” Green evokes envy, spring and hope, according to social scientists. HR Block and green are synonymous, and viewers will remember their personal connection between potential cash and the company that will get the most from their tax refund. Although refund season comes only once a year, HR Block’s and green is a fantastic use of color association to maintain the connection in consumers’ minds year round.

State Farm

“This is Jake, from State Farm.” Who can forget Jake, the most quoted State Farm employee? Red is the color most associated with State Farm. Courage, sacrifice and danger are all associated with red. No one wants to bet against themselves, but buying life insurance is about doing just that. Knowing the dangers and making sacrifices are essential to providing the coverage you and your family need for the future. Red is the most eye-catching color because it has the longest wavelength on the spectrum. From stop signs to fire trucks, red is guaranteed to turn heads. When you need insurance, you’ll know to turn to State Farm.


Everyone likes an underdog. For years now, Vonage has fought for recognition alongside cellular giants such as AT&T and Verizon. Vonage has had to set itself apart from the pack and differentiate its services from the others. Orange is the most used color in Vonage advertisements. Unconventional, extroverted, excitement and ambition are some of the many symbolisms behind the color orange. This rings true to Vonage’s campaigns to grab the attention of customers on the fence. In order to remain successful and independent in the phone market, Vonage has to remain innovative and original. By using orange, Vonage is reinforcing just that.

Planet Fitness

“No Gymtimidation.” Planet Fitness has made it clear in their commercials they do not want to be associated with the word gym. In fact, they want to convey an anti-“gym” image. Planet Fitness is a place for average folks to go to better themselves and work towards realistic goals. Purple is Planet Fitness’ most used color. Purple evokes individualism, ambiguity and piety. They want to create a personal bond with members while creating a friendly and undemanding atmosphere. In reference to the movie Dodgeball, Planet Fitness wants to be an Average Joe’s instead of Globo-Gym. Though Globo-Gym wore purple and black, their vision of fitness was seen as a spiritual ritual, only to be obtained by those fit to sacrifice for something bigger than themselves. At you own pace and personalization, that is Planet Fitness.


“I’m lovin’ it.” The jingle is a timeless marketing ploy used to associate brand image using the power of memory and music. McDonald’s employs color to convey a much deeper marketing strategy. By using two of the most vibrant colors, red and yellow, as their foundation, their advertisements, signs and products are difficult to miss. Behind orange, yellow has the third longest wavelength on the color spectrum. Stop lights and taxi cabs use yellow because of its ability to catch your eye. Many companies actively avoid using vibrant colors for deeper hues in order to convey a more grounded and foundational message. McDonald’s employs just the opposite. The greater the chance to be seen, the more potential customers will choose their products over others. Sonic, In & Out Burger and Subway all use yellow to attract customers. But when thinking of yellow and fast food, it’s hard not to overlook the golden arches of McDonald's.

Subliminal advertising has been part of marketing since its first inception. Along with the vocal and written message presented, there are always subtle marketing techniques to further entice consumers to act accordingly. Color usage is a powerful tool to evoke emotional, physical and philosophical responses. Some may say subliminal advertising is much more important that outright, but nevertheless, advertising is about making a bond with a consumer. Whether up front or under the surface, creating a relationship with the consumer is the most important aspect of successful marketing.

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