By Eiji Ota*
As brands begin to look at fresh ways of engaging their customers, they’ve realised that they can’t always rely on what worked pre-pandemic and that they need to do more to make their campaigns pack a punch and drive customer response.
Considering that 85% of targets cite visual appearance as the primary reason for choosing which products to buy it’s no surprise that marketers are turning to colour to amplify their marketing campaigns.
Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen brands in all sectors – from retail, to designer and high-street fashion, to hospitality, food and drink – embrace bright colours in their products and promotional marketing to engage and revitalise lockdown-fatigued consumers. People are craving positivity, and brands know there’s no better way to lift and energise a marketing campaign than to inject it with bright colour.
It’s a trend that has been flagged by colour authorities like Pantone, who have noted the dominance of primary colours, jewel brights and neons since early 2020. And their predictions for Autumn/Winter 21/22 suggest this trend is far from fading.
Designers such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Kenzo, Longchamp and Balmain along with more mainstream fashion names including Adidas and Puma have launched 2021 collections in brights and neons, and the trend has been picked up in the beauty industry too, with neon being applied to hair, nails and faces.
There’s a direct link between this wave of colour and the desire to boost our mood in the wake of a collective trauma. We recently spoke to Brenda Milis, Principal of Consumer and Creative Insights at Adobe, whose research work identifies visual trends across campaigns for brands in all sectors. She has been tracking the trend she calls ‘Mood Boosting Colour’ since early 2020 and explains it like this:
“Our appetite for colour grew because restrictions imposed by the pandemic rendered everything in our lives monotonous and metaphorically monochrome. During lockdown, we craved variety and colour in our lives. As the world started to open back up, we saw a huge surge in demand for mood-boosting colour images for creatives to use in ad campaigns across a number of industries from food and drink, to fashion and homewares.”
“Amplifying the use of colour is an easy, yet powerful way for brands to stop customers in their tracks and compel them to engage with a brand’s products and services. They can use it to convey the core values of the brand and instil a sense of optimism simply by making a careful choice – colour.”
And Brenda is confident that this vibrant colour trend is not just a post-pandemic reaction but is set to continue for the foreseeable future. So, knowing that your brand customers are gravitating to bright colours and neons to stimulate consumer appetites, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself whether your current production line-up is up to the job? When it comes to producing large format graphics demanding vivid colours and even dashes of fluorescent, you don’t want to disappoint.
Historically, printing large format graphics with fluorescents has been limited to offset and screen processes, making it unviable for short runs and tactical, on-demand promotional applications, and effectively putting it out of reach for smaller print businesses or in-house environments.
Very recent developments have seen some neon capabilities emerging in roll-to-roll and flatbed UV inkjet, but at investment levels still beyond the scope of many graphics producers, and with machine footprints that would be difficult for most in-house environments to accommodate.
The launch of the new Canon imagePROGRAF GP Series brings fluorescent colour to aqueous large format printers for the first time, with a choice of four models offering 10 or five pigmented aqueous inks plus fluorescent pink ink, and with three different printing widths. This creates a brilliant opportunity for smaller graphics producers, in-house marketing departments and creative agencies to produce vibrant posters and POS graphics at the push of a button, and without any additional skills or specialist training.
It’s now within the reach of virtually any business to bring the most striking campaign visuals to life, with amped-up colour that really pops, coupled with all the productivity to cope when volumes bounce back.
Bright colour is set to light up promotional marketing for years to come, so brand customers are going to come calling, demanding the ‘look at me’ factor for their posters and point of sale materials. By investing in colour capability and adding the scope to print fluorescent, print service providers will be equipped to match the expectations of even the most demanding buyer, and ready to come back brighter.
*Eiji Ota is Business Unit Director, Canon Central and North Africa
For more information about the new Canon imagePROGRAF GP Series and how it can help you to extend your product offering, visit https://en.canon-cna.com/business-printers-and-faxes/graphics-printers/
 Source: Insights in Marketing – 2020 – https://insightsinmarketing.com/resources/infographics/how-does-color-affect-consumer-behavior/
 Source: People.com – 2021 – https://people.com/food/lady-gaga-partners-with-oreo-to-bring-chromatica-themed-oreos-to-life/
 Source: Shutterstock – 2021 – https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/rainbow-color-palettes
 Source: Fashion United – 2021 – https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/colour-report-neons-are-illuminating-fashion-s-future/2021082057268