The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color In Video Marketing

Color. It’s all around us, and it has powerful psychological benefits within marketing. The psychology of color within the scope of video marketing impacts our mental state in a big way. Large corporations have understood this fact for many, many years. It’s used in logos, photographs, videos, 3D elements, website color schemes, and even lighting.

Color of Lighting

targetWalk into any Target store. Have you noticed that the lighting inside the store is very warm, having more red hues? This has a psychological effect on the store's visitors. The lighting is around the same “color” as the lighting in your home, so you feel more “at home”. The light color also gives shoppers a more emotional experience, by heightening the senses and invoking a sense of passion. Clothing looks more flattering under this color of light. The effect also has been proven to increase appetite. In some cultures, color red is associated with importance, prosperity and happiness.

walmartWal-Mart, on the other hand, uses a cool-colored light, with more blue hues. The color of these lights gives individuals a sense of peace and security and creates a sense of trust. The effect also entices the shoppers to linger for longer periods of time and will help retain shoppers and turn them into loyal customers.

Wal-Mart changes things up a bit when it comes to Super Wal-Marts (those which include a supermarket). Stroll past the meat department and notice the difference in the color of the lights in the meat counter. That’s right, the store will use a more red light in the counter. As we discussed before, red stimulates the appetite. I’m sure that it has been discovered that meat that sits under a red-hue light looks more appealing and results in more sales.

Use of Color Tints in Scenes


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Try this fun experiment. Choose a favorite movie from your DVD collection and watch it. This time, I’d like for you to notice the color shifts within the different scenes. Notice your feelings during the various scenes.

Is there a scene where the temperature is cold? What color shift do you notice? I would bet that it’s blue. That’s because the color blue is hardwired in our brains as a reference to cold temperatures. Perhaps there is a scene that is shot in a hot climate. Did the scene have an orange tint to it? Are you starting to see it now?

Just like major media production companies use color to invoke a desired emotion, you too can use color in your videos to help convey your message and move the viewer to act. It’s paramount that color psychology is implemented into your marketing strategy. Used effectively, color can cause the viewer to feel hot or color, calm or excited, happy or sad.

The video below is a perfect example of just how color hues can affect the viewer’s emotional state. The opening video is a raw, shot-as-seen clip of horses grazing in a meadow. The second and third clips in the video have been adjusted in some way. After watching them, ask yourself these questions: how do you feel when you see the first clip; what about the second and third? If such a slight color hue change can have a major impact on the viewer, imagine what would happen if color was used correctly throughout your corporate video production.

Use of Color in Video Graphics

Let’s assume that you want your viewers to be excited about your product. What color’s should be used throughout the video? By using the colors red, orange, and yellow, you invoke feelings of excitement and warmth. Brands such as Coke, Pintrest, Nickelodeon, and Best Buy all use these “exciting” colors to convey the message of their brands.

What about brands such as Holiday Inn, Starbucks, Ford and Facebook? What messages are these companies trying to convey? Typically you don’t see Starbuck’s customers in a big hurry. Often we see customers sitting in comfy chairs, drinking high-priced coffee and reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Let’s face it, when was the last time you were on Facebook for two minutes or less?


Psychology is the key to successful marketing. Those who understand strategic psychological techniques will always win over their competitors. There’s a reason that Coke and Pepsi are so successful. There’s a reason why McDonalds 15% beef hamburgers are so popular, despite their unhealthy, and sometimes dangerous food products.

The use of color psychology within marketing collateral material is an inexpensive tool, but one which yields much success. When correctly used within a calculated corporate video campaign, color can have a major effect on the viewer and can help move those viewers to act on your message.

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