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50 Shades of Orange

Almost literally, color is everywhere. Whether or not we notice it, we are constantly exposed to it. From a marketing standpoint, color is incredibly important. We probably would not be calmed and reassured by a bank logo in bright red, nor would we want to chow on a burger at a fast-food restaurant decorated in grey. Beyond the obvious color gaffes you can pull, the exact shade of color utilized in your marketing can have a huge effect on how your product or company comes across to the masses.

One recent and relevant example? Ohioans are probably aware of the updating of the Cleveland Browns’ team colors.

To the normal viewer, this really isn’t a big deal. They changed their orange to… wait for it… a brighter orange.


This sounds pretty insignificant, but this can actually make a noticeable difference to the team and its fans. Imagine it: you are at the stadium and you keep seeing these colors over and over again… go ahead, do it for a minute or so:

Are you excited? Probably not. Or maybe, but just the first 30 seconds, and then you feel like you’re sitting in at your parents’ gold and orange kitchen table in the early 80s sipping coffee out of a speckled mug.

How long does it take you to start to feel tired, or “blah”? How about we go throw a football around? Oh, you don’t want to? Me either. Let’s watch some Happy Days instead.

Now, stare at the new colors for a while:

Wanna go for a run? Probably (or at least more than you did previously). Fact: bright, warm colors have a tendency to raise the heart rate of those viewing them, pumping more oxygen to their brains, exciting them, and even making them hungry (think: McDonald’s, Target, or the vendors walking up and down the stadium aisles). My guess is that the change to the Cleveland Browns’ colors will have a positive effect on both players and fans alike during games. Or at least sell more hot dogs.

So, colors and shades matter, but when they matter can be pretty subjective. That’s another blog post for later.