The Power of Black in Advertising

Black is a powerful color in the world of advertising. In the psychology of color, black symbolizes mystery, power, elegance and sophistication. It can also evoke emotions such as sadness and anger. Many fashion retailers have used black in their logos to convey a sense of luxury and sophistication.

Black is a neutral color, often used to “stabilize” or dim more vibrant colors that risk being overwhelming. It is the color of authority, power and control. In some situations it can be intimidating, however, in the business world it usually seems sophisticated, dignified and serious. Black also has an air of mystery and secrecy.

Red is another popular color in advertising. It increases heart rate by activating the pituitary gland and stimulates appetite and improves metabolism. A recent study found that changing the price color from black to red in an ad makes men think they are getting a bargain. Red is highly visible and helps bring text and images to the forefront, so it is often used as an accent in signage to draw attention to key messages. Large quantities of black are often used in brands or advertising for companies that want their products to look very exclusive.

This is because black isn't cozy or attention-grabbing, so it can project a wider network. Color has become dominant in marketing because it attracts attention and promotes favorable attitudes. However, there may be times when companies prefer to use black and white advertising. If the main characteristics of a product are superior, companies can successfully promote it through black and white images. According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, black and white advertising causes consumers to focus on basic product features, while color advertising can influence consumers to pay more for products with unnecessary extras. A sign with color images captured the attention of almost 50% of the audience, while the same sign with black and white images only managed to capture 24%.

In Western culture, black is associated with dark moonless nights that illuminate your path; villains in capes who want to suck your blood or who wait in vans to snatch your children; masks used to hide identities; stealth costumes; mourning and loss; funerals; luxury; elegance; sophistication; timelessness; mystery; authority; power; protection; strength; formality; seduction. Chanel uses black to convey luxury, elegance, sophistication, timelessness and perhaps a touch of mystery. On brands, a black logo can look elegant yet powerful, and is used for its clean, strong and unadorned look. Combined with photography which also focuses on high contrasts, black serves as a fundamental neutral for page elements. Using black as a support for additional elements can radiate elegance, while too much black can be totally bleak and unattractive. Tips for working with black include using it when you convey emotion or extreme emotions; using it as an accent in signage to draw attention to key messages; using it when selling luxury, elegance and sophistication.