Use of Colour in Advertising Your Brand Abroad

colour in advertising

Read Time: 3.5 mins

Are you looking to expand the reach of your business’s social media marketing abroad? There are many different aspects you should consider first; one of the most important of which is the use of colour in advertising.

A remarkable advantage of social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, is their huge potential for instant international reach. So, if you are creating a post targeting an audience in a particular country, the psychology of colour in terms of your imagery can be crucial.

With a world so rich with diverse cultures, marketing colours can have a huge impact on your audience.

Do you have the blues or are you green with envy?

We have many predetermined associations with certain colours. It is a very subjective and emotive part of our everyday lives. For many of us, the impact of colour symbolism and colours in marketing evokes a subconscious reaction. Though this is relative to the culture which moulds colour meaning.

Using Blue in Marketing

Generally, when considering colour in advertising, blue is a safe choice for businesses. In colour psychology, blue symbolises calm and serenity in Western Europe, USA and Canada.

Similarly in Eastern cultures, blue can signify immortality and healing. In Mediterranean cultures, blue is the colour used in talismans (“nazar boncuk” in Turkey and “Baskania” in Greece) to stave off the unfortunate “evil eye“.

In a 2015 YouGov survey, blue was declared the world’s favourite colour.

Using Green in Marketing

Like the colour blue, green has universally shared colour symbolism. This is because green symbolises the colour of nature around the world. In most cultures, Western, Eastern and otherwise, green often symbolises fertility. This is also why green is regularly used to represent environmentalism. On top of this, green can portray good luck, like in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

However, there are some negatives. Green is the colour of jealousy in Western cultures – often referred to as ‘the green-eyed monster’. In Chinese culture, a man with a green hat suggests his wife has been adulterous.

Using Red in Marketing

Red has various colour meanings attached to it. In Western culture, red can symbolise passion, danger or aggression. It is viewed as a bold and energetic colour. In many Asian cultures, especially in China, red is the colour of luck, wealth and happiness.

In South Africa, the colour red can sometimes be attributed to violence and losses made during the country’s fight for independence.

Using Yellow in Marketing

In many Western cultures, yellow is an optimistic, happy and warm colour, producing many positive connotations. However, the colour yellow does represent jealousy and cowardice in countries such as Germany and France.

Historically, French artists used to paint criminals in yellow to portray their villainous status. It has some positive connotations in other cultures as well. In Thailand, for example, yellow is considered a lucky colour associated with their recently passed King, while In Africa, yellow is connected with wealth and status.

Using Black in Marketing

Black is a colour of formality and also sophistication. However, in many cultures across the world, black symbolises darkness, magic and evil. It is the primary colour of mourning, loss and negativity in Western cultures. In African culture, black can be viewed as symbolising maturity and masculinity.

Using White in Marketing

Perhaps one of the most important colours to consider, white has vastly different meaning between Western and Eastern cultures.

In the West, white is often attributed to purity and innocence. Brides wear white wedding dresses for this reason. In Japan, white is also associated with purity and cleanliness.

White can also represent modernity. Take Apple’s sleek, white, minimalist design as an example. On the other hand, in several Asian countries, white is associated with death, mourning and misfortune. White is traditionally worn at funerals in countries like China and Korea.

Importance of Colour in Advertising

What do you think of the psychology of colour? Do you attribute different meanings to the above examples?

When marketing your brand across the globe, it is important to acknowledge different cultural meanings associated with things we otherwise may deem trivial.

Colour is an extremely important aspect to consider when sharing images. Especially if you aim to target an audience in a particular country or culture. For more information, or to increase your brand’s reach across the globe, give us a call on 01652 638290 or email

Alyssa Parnwell
Content Marketing Executive
Knapton Wright Ltd.