Display Advertising in the Modern World: Color vs. Black and White

January 4, 2019By

printed sign


These days, people don’t usually make purchase based on need or cost. They tend to buy things that fit their lifestyle or can benefit them in some way.

In a world full of color it may come as a shock to see something in black and white. And while a company may think that the rarity of their color-scheme can make their product stand out, there’s actually a lot that color can do.

Color Can Boost Advertising Recall

While black and white ads aren’t as popular as they once were, they can still help sell a product. Adding color doesn’t mean that customers are more likely to buy a product. But with the use of blues, pinks, and reds, along with imagery and appealing text, a product can fly off the shelf looking like that faster than a black and white piece. A printed sign, for example, with contrast, pictures, and large text will entice a customer to check a specific product out rather than one that’s been hidden in black and white.

Research has shown that readers recall what was on a color ad more so than what was on a black and white ad. Imagery in color on a printed sign affects almost half of readers while headlines grab a full 50%. Imagery in black and white only capture 24% of the audience while the plain headlines get 21%.

Color Ads Can Boost Purchases

Shelf tags, in-store marketing, and grocery store shelf labels- these things can all be used to get a customer to purchase a specific product. 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. While color-printed grocery store signage may cost more than black and white signage, research has proven that people purchase products marketed in color more than products that aren’t. For many readers, ads in black and white increase brand awareness and boost their opinions of the company. But color generates more actionable responses like visiting a store or a company’s website.

Businesses know getting people through the door is the biggest challenge they deal with daily. But research shows that readers were three times more likely to stop in a store after seeing an advertisement that was in color.

About 68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their interest. And studies show that people tend to make a purchase after seeing a printed sign that is in color. So, when you’re developing your next marketing campaign, will you choose color or black and white?

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