Advertising in black and white can be a powerful tool for businesses, as it can help them to focus on the basic features of their products and services. Research has shown that readers remember what was in a color ad rather than what appeared in a black and white ad, and that readers find black-and-white ads to be less visually appealing than color ads. However, black and white ads can still motivate consumers to purchase a product more than color ads, as they can spark consumer interest and a desire to achieve what is offered to them. When an ad or ad is set to black and white, the viewer is more likely to focus on what is actually being presented and therefore looks more closely at detail.
This can be beneficial for businesses with tight marketing budgets, as they can think of a compelling reason to choose color. In addition, large quantities of black are often used in brands or advertising for companies that want their products to look very exclusive. 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. This conveys a message of traditionalism, while also differentiating itself from the competition.
In Western culture, black is the color of dark moonless nights that illuminate your path; of villains in capes who want to suck your blood or who wait in vans to snatch your children; of masks used to hide identities, especially for criminals; of stealth costumes to get closer stealthily to people; of mourning and loss and funerals. Therefore, when an ad can effectively produce black and white stories, it can be incredibly effective in capturing the attention of consumers. Overall, black-and-white advertising can be an effective tool for businesses looking to focus on basic product features while also conveying a message of traditionalism. By giving readers a vision of your company that only about half of readers find visually appealing, advertisers risk leaving an unattractive impression on other readers.
However, if used correctly, black and white advertising can be incredibly effective in capturing the attention of consumers.