Catching Colors & the Troubles of Imagination

When I started writing this post, I did not know what to write about. I had some blurry images of my next topics in mind, but nothing specific. I guess I was at a low, with no real imagination and motivation. Since Christmas is getting closer I started longing for the holidays, not wanting to occupy my mind anymore with complicated formulas, presentations, and time-robbing homework.

So for the first time and because of not having any real good ideas, I tried to follow the suggestion I had been given earlier: To think about something that really, really interests me. So the first two things that popped into my mind were:

  1. Biology & Research
  2. Creativity

Since being obliged to write something about businesses and the topic I chose (Coca-Cola Company) I could only think of somehow mixing creativity with my topic. Further thinking obviously led me to marketing which was the basis for the following post.

The Astonishing Power of Colors

I was always amazed of how marketing specialists were able to move people into buying certain products, change perceptions of brands, and take advantage of colors, images and slogans.

Thinking of Coca-Cola, the first thing that would pop into your mind is probably the red can or bottle with the unique lettering which has not changed since its invention in 1886.

When concentrating on colors, you most likely know that they create a certain mood or atmosphere and send different messages. According to Drew Coffin, in the Western society the color red has many different associations such as love, danger, passion and joy. It is also a signal color which is presumably the reason why Coca-Cola chose such a strong color when first bringing their cans onto the market. It attracts one’s attention in a second, being already clearly visible from a distance.

Coffin furthermore states, that it has been proven that colors improve brand recognition by as much as 85 %. If you are not convinced, think of Facebook. Let me guess that ‘blue’ is the first color that comes into your mind. What about Apple? Maybe silver (and white)? And do the colors green, white, and red provoke an image? With which holiday would you associate those colors? Take a second to think and to visualize the colors in front of your eyes. Could it be Christmas?

As you can see, we connect colors with all kinds of things. Certain combinations provoke certain images, and some long existing brand colors are so much integrated in our society that we immediately associate them with a certain product.

What to Keep in Mind

Being aware of these implications is important, which is why Dan Green writes in his blog post “COLOR: A critical marketing choice”, that it can be – if used properly – one of the most effective messaging and marketing tools.

In fact, a company should be aware of the image it wants to create. Using vibrant colors like yellow, red, and orange can be eye-catching but also overwhelming whereas colors such as purple, dark blue and green can be soothing and sophisticated.

In reference to my last post, companies should also always be aware of the market they are trying to conquer. Red might symbolize good luck and celebration in China but the color of mourning in Africa.

In conclusion, colors are a strong instrument for marketing strategies. Their importance in the food industry is impossible to think away. Just think about the ‘Skittles post’ from Elisa. Can you imagine Skittles being so successful if their packaging would have been white or brown?

Leave a comment


  1. Mattias

     /  December 21, 2011

    Nice. Your text has a strong structure Saskia and you move the reader gently along with the red thread through your topic. . You keep your text short and you use rhetoric powerful expressions such as “connecting colours” together with a good technical terminology which makes one eager to keep on reading. Well done.

  2. juliajogs

     /  December 23, 2011


    I totally agree with Mattias. Your structure is excellent and you definitely created a red thread. I love your topic since I am really interested in this part of marketing. It is awesome how colors and pictures affect people. In school, I was always really keen on analyzing poems and paintings, instead of writing or drawing them by myself. I think that’s why I appreciated reading your post. I’m curious about your next blog post!

  3. Lucas

     /  December 30, 2011

    I have to admit that I read your post according to Bruce’s recommendation. I also go with the red thread of your post, which leads us through. Coke is also a pretty good example because they are (according to the clip) the first global brand. The topic itself is also highly interesting. It actually made me wonder again about our specialisation later on..
    Since feedback should not be only positive in order to improve I have a slight remark as well.
    What about your topic? I understand the “Catching Colours”-Part. What I couldn’t find in your post was “the Trouble of Imagination”. If you are referring to the different gasp of colours mentioned in one of the last paragraphs the heading might have to be rephrased. If not than this part is kind of missing.
    Exception: I have over read something.

    • Hey Lucas,
      thanks for your comment. I might have written it a little unclear. I actually meant my problems with coming up with a new idea for my next post. I did not mean the colors. Sorry.

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