Do Colors Influence You?


One fine day, while in a mall here in the city, we came across a store that sells shirts with the Philippine archipelago in the place where you lay your hand as you sing the national anthem, just above your heart, on your upper left rib cage! And with all the exciting things happening in the country today, wearing such shirt seems to symbolize patriotism, and I liked the idea. So in we went with the intent of buying my husband a few.

As usual, with my daughters tagging along, we went from one rack to another choosing the design and the color that would suit him best. I thought that would be an easy task. It turned out to be otherwise. You see, I like my husband in black, also in orange, for one obvious reason – because he looks good on them.

So I picked two shirts – one black and one orange.

Suddenly, one daughter exclaimed and said; “Dad, if you wear the yellow one, you’ll be branded a Noynoy supporter. If you wear the orange, you’d look like you’re for Villar. He looked at the two shirts, and then looked at me and waited for my reaction. That’s one thing I love about him … when he looks at me with those lovely brown eyes ha ha ha! (Gi apil pa gyod og sulat nga wala nay labot sa discussion he he he => ) I told them: “Well, we’re buying the shirts not because of them. We’re buying because they look great and definitely, without a bias, you would look handsome on them, Daddy!” And with that, we paid for the shirts!

Seriously though, have you really thought about this?

Remember Lito Atienza? I respect the guy and what he’s done for the government and the city of Manila, but by golly, wearing a red polo shirt like he’s always in the beach in the Bahamas or Caribbean is definitely not my thing. MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando colored all his projects for the agency in purple and pink … and way before that those urinals along the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila were the same, colored and very visible and identifiably him.

Of course there’s the color yellow for the greatly respected Ninoy Aquino, and later on for the much loved former president Cory. Now, yellow represents Noynoy, their son, and his bid for presidency.

Then again, there’s Mr Orange Man, Manny Villar. Everywhere you see him, he dons his bright orange colored shirts. Needless to say, he looks good on them!

So what do you know? I’d say we’re so deep into it I doubt if we even realize its impact … or the reason behind it?

So what’s with the color?

Here are a few other examples.

The color green for Chocolate drink stands for what? Of course we all know it’s for M! And orange? Oh, the competing product, O!  Red for Cola Drinks is C and blue is for P! For toothpaste, Red stands for hot, blue for cool, green for mint, etc. The color stands for something in these products. It’s a statement. What that statement is? I am not really sure.

Imagine this scenario in a grocery store: Mom tags along a 4 year-old child. Mom goes directly to the shelf displaying chocolate drinks. She reaches for the one with an orange packaging, named product O. Suddenly, the child started screaming: I want the Green one! Green, Green! Why? Oh! A 4 year old kid with a preference! The child has remembered something associated with green, and she saw it in the television. Actually, she can even sing the jingle of that particular product!

Why is this? Because the green product spends more money on their advertisement. Meaning, it has a bigger marketing budget. On the other hand, the orange-packed drink doesn’t spend as much on their marketing efforts.

So? What’s next? Simple! The child, usually left alone with the TV as the temporary baby sitter, saw in the commercial children playing basketball, swimming, gymnastics, receiving medals. The child (and even parents) has associated excellence in sports with the Green labeled drink.

But hey! Did these kids really become champions because they drank the green drink? I don’t think so. The company who owns the green drink spends millions to sponsor athletic events and from there gets the exposure they need. The same is true with shampoos. Those models? Their hair looks nice and healthy and shiny, not really because they are using the shampoo they are endorsing, but because of the TLC the hair receives from all the salon treatments. How do you get straight shiny hair, honestly? Have your hair rebonded. That simple, if you have the money!

All these: the color coded shirts by our politicians, the color of the labels of our chocolate drinks, the shampoos, and the labels of practically all of our consumer products – this is simply marketing strategy. Why use colors?  To trigger easy recall by color association!

It’s simple. Once the association has been established, seeing that color anywhere and anytime would remind the viewer of the person or thing which the color represents.  One doesn’t have to be literate to identify the color. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

With this line of thinking, would it be safe to say that for politicians, this can be a very effective marketing tool? Yes! The brilliance of Marketing Managers handling the Image campaigns for these politicians. Maybe, just maybe (and I’m saying this because I am not one hundred percent sure), the objective is that when voting time comes, they just swamp the precinct with their color everywhere, and when Juan De La Cruz looks up from his seat, and sees yellow, or orange, or red, or blue … then he remembers …

We can also interpret it some other way.

Like orange, which happens to be my favorite color, brings out the sunny side of me, and I love what it does to me especially on gloomy days.  I love seeing orange and it’s pleasing for me to see someone wear orange.

So again the tugging question … When I say I love the color Orange, and when I wear an Orange blouse or shirt, carry an orange bag or use an orange umbrella … do I welcome the thought of being associated with Senator Manny Villar?

I don’t mind really.

But what if I am for Noynoy? And what if for personal reasons I don’t really like the color yellow (because I appear pale on it, or medyo nagmumukha akong may jaundice, or may naaalala akong bad memory … whatever), can I not wear orange anymore?

I’m getting confused with myself there he he he =>

Well anyway, that, I think, is what we call color psychology.

I have to do more research on this though, so at this point, I won’t say I am correct all the way. I am simply expressing my own observation and opinion on its effect on me and my family, and how it has affected even in our choice of color for clothes.

So, what about you? Do you see it the way I see it?


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