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COLOURS AND SELLING PRODUCTS

V. Ryan © 2004 - 2009

 

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The next time you are in a supermarket list the main colours on packages of everyday goods. You will probably find that the primary colours are the most common. It is known (through extensive, scientific research) that strong bold colours are used to attract a mass market, often primary colours are used (red, yellow and blue).

Furthermore, sophisticated products such as expensive chocolates often use shades of blue and black on the packaging. Often the printing is gold. It is believed that these shades make the package look more expensive and more Ďup-marketí. They give the illusion that the chocolates inside the package are quality / select chocolates and not ordinary.

The character to the right (Ed the Handyman) is trying to decide which chocolates he should buy for his mother on Motherís Day. Which should he buy? the box of chocolates in the quality dark blue package OR the cheap chocolates in the cheap looking red plastic bag? The tradition in the EEC (European Economic Community) is for children to buy presents for their mothers on Mothers Day - one particular  Sunday in March.

 

   
 
   

It is known that young children are attracted to sweet packages that have bright colours (bright reds and yellows) whereas older people are attracted towards more subtle colours (shades of blue).

Next time you are in a supermarket watch the young children with their parents. When they select sweets, look at the colours on the package. Are they bright or dull?

The animation to the right shows the cartoon character Uncle Jeff. He prefers to buy cheap aniseed balls for his nephew rather than the colourfully packaged sweets enjoyed by most young children.

 
 

Look at packets of washing powder. The colours used for these reflect freshness. In this way blues (representing water) and greens (representing a healthy environment) are often used. Whatever the age of the shopper, he/she expects certain colours on certain types of product. When you design a package it may be too risky to use the colours that are not associated with the product you are packaging.

   

Questions:
1. List a variety of different products and alongside each list the main colours on their packages.
2. Looking at the results to question 1, are the colours on each of the packages decided by the product inside it?

   
 
   

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