Black-and-white advertising has long been used to convey a powerful message to consumers. It can cause them to focus on the basic features of a product, while color advertising can influence them to pay more for extras. Research has shown that readers find black-and-white ads to be less visually appealing than color ads, with just under half of readers finding one-page ads visually appealing. This means that an opportunity is lost when an advertiser posts an ad in black and white, as they risk leaving an unattractive impression on other readers.
Recently, researchers have tried to understand the implications of using black and white (B&W) instead of color. While color has been shown to promote attention, memory, and positive evaluations, researchers were interested to know if there was a drawback as well. It turns out that black is useful for directing customer attention, especially in situations where high contrast and legibility are important. The convergence of black and white is an example of how two divergent colors communicate more powerfully with each other than on their own.
When ads can effectively produce black and white stories, they spark consumer interest and a desire to achieve what is offered to them. In Aztec culture, black represented war because black obsidian crystal was used as the cutting edge of battle swords. Some brands choose black and white to convey a message of traditionalism, while others opt for a kaleidoscope design in the hope of differentiating themselves from the competition. When it comes to advertising, black and white exudes good taste by stripping away the product, using the image to convey a powerful message through simplicity.
If you have tight marketing budgets, you might be tempted to keep your advertising in black and white, unless you can think of a compelling reason to choose color. For example, in its recent rebranding campaign, PokerStars uses a highly cinematic format with black and white images for its fast-paced 1-minute commercial. Black-and-white advertising can be a powerful tool for conveying messages to consumers. It can cause them to focus on basic product features while avoiding unnecessary extras. It also has the potential to create a strong impression on readers if used correctly.
Black is also useful for directing customer attention in situations where high contrast and legibility are important. The convergence of black and white is an example of how two divergent colors communicate more powerfully with each other than on their own.