Tips for Using Color in Display Ads

Color plays a huge role in display advertising campaigns, yet many marketers overlook this key factor. It’s not surprising since things like call to actions, titles and keywords grab most of the attention. But if you want to make your display ads most effective, it’s a smart idea to consider how color may impact your audience.

It’s been long reported that color influences our moods and even our perception of space and temperature. Color also influences buying behaviors and the perceptions that people have of brands. So how do you want your audience to perceive your brand? Do you want them to feel energized and excited when they see your ads? Do you want them to feel emotion and be driven to your story?

Let’s dive deeper into the basics of using color for display ads.

Orange Conveys Value

Orange is a color that people often associate with good value. There are many great companies out there that use orange in their logos and advertisements, and these companies are known for offering lower-priced, valuable goods. Think Home Depot, Walmart and Aldi. You do have to be careful here though, because you don’t want to be viewed as cheap. A splash of orange goes a long way.

Blue Encourages Acceptance

If orange conveys value, then blue is a wonderful partner because it instills acceptance. Again, think about companies like Walmart and Aldi that use both colors in their name. But if you think beyond these companies, you’ll find that many others use blue in their display ads, particularly social media companies Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s no accident that these companies chose blue. It’s designed to create a sense of belonging and community.

Yellow Has a Polarizing Effect

As you read about yellow, you’re probably either thinking, “I love it!” or “I hate it!” Yellow is a polarizing color, so you need to be careful with this one. You may have customers that love the color yellow, and if that’s the case, then it’s fine to include it in your display ads. But if your customers aren’t so bright and sunny, it may be best to omit this color altogether. The best way to find out how yellow falls with your audience is to take a Facebook poll or survey.

Use White Carefully

White can be used to emphasize negative space, but watch out for this. White has a tendency to be boring and uneventful, so people have a tendency to wander when they see too much white. Instead, you want to draw your customers to the ad and keep them there, so choose a design that leaves little negative space.

Be the Best Judge

At the end of the day, the colors in your ads should match the message. If you’re not a fan of yellow but you want to call attention to the bright sunny days of summer, yellow fits.  Or, if you have valuable but expensive products but want to showcase something for the fall season, don’t hesitate to use orange. The most important thing is that the display is consistent with the message.

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