06 marts 2012

The colour of money

COLOUR IS THE STRONGEST VISUAL ELEMENT OF A BRAND. Think of Santa Claus. The character you will be imagining might look different from the way I see Father Christmas, but I am positive that our two guys have one thing in common: They will both be dressed in red.
Maybe you know that Santa’s looks and red uniform can be traced back to a 1931 Coca-Cola ad? Before then, the bloke could be of any weight class and wear all kinds of clothes.
So here’s one more thing that could never be anything but red (and white): Coke.

But then what happens if different colour identities get on a collision course?

See for yourself:

THIS IS LA BOMBONERA, the legendary home ground of Argentinian soccer team Boca Juniors.
It is also one of the very few places in the world where Coca-Cola had to accept substituting their trademark red with a dull black.
Because the archrivals of Boca Juniors, River Plate, are playing in red and white. And there’s no way the Boca Juniors fans would ever allow that particular colour combination inside their stadium, except on the jerseys of their opponents.
That is how much colour means.

IN CASE YOU’RE SKEPTICAL, take a look at the conclusions of a 2009 study carried out by patent and trademark attorneys Withers & Rogers. 64% of the respondents rated colour more important to a brand than slogan, typeface or logo shape. And the survey mentions several examples of companies fighting for the ownership to a particular colour, like Cadbury’s legal dispute for more than five years with an Australian confectioner over the rights to use the colour purple.

THE IMPORTANCE OF COLOUR struck me last week when surfing the internet and spending a couple of minutes checking out Danish newspaper websites. Now these publications spend millions every year on maintaining and reinforcing their own brand recognition through campaigns, stationery, signage, etc. And each of them has its own signature colour.
Politiken is red, Jyllands-Posten is green, and Berlingske is blue.

So how come they all seem to completely forget about this when selling ad space on the internet?

OF COURSE I KNOW THE ANSWER. And so do you. It is all about dough. For ten years or more, newspapers have been panicking over the dire prospects of how to make money as advertising would leave print in favour of the internet.
This panic leads them to quite an irrational behaviour. Instead of thinking long-term and concentrating on establishing their precious, credible, centuries-old brands just as solidly on the internet as they have managed to do on print, it looks like they worry most about the upcoming annual accounts.
No doubt Irma, Handewitt Scandinavian Park, and Sydbank pay well for the privilege of taking over the websites of the three leading Danish morning papers for a while. The comparison that comes to my mind, however, is three noble old ladies dressed up as whores.

SOME NEWSPAPERS CHOOSE DIFFERENT STRATEGIES, and I am not only referring to high-brow publications such as The Guardian or The New York Times.
For instance, here’s the Daily Mail – which may have been inspired by Google: Become number one and then you can define the rules. Indeed, the 19 million GBP of online advertising revenue brought in by Mail Online last year seems like petty cash when compared to the 340 million the newspaper made on print ads, but still, it represents a 65% growth over one year. And the 45+ million monthly users ought to make this site interesting to advertisers even though they will not be allowed to dominate the front page. See the flat white box up in the corner, right below the dateline? Yep, that’s the ad.

1 kommentar:

Lars Pryds sagde ...

Hi Ole -
a little tough on the old Auntie Green, Aunti Red, and Auntie Blue, aren't you? Well they kinda deserve it, judging by the screendumps... (on the sites)

While reading, I listened to The Boss' new album. His words go well with this post:
"You put on your red dress / You're looking real good honey / We're going on the town now / Looking for some easy money".

Easy money - isn't that what we're all looking for?