Tangerine Tango, Color Psychology + Making the World a Better PlaceFriday, February 10, 2012
Pantone's Color of the Year marketing campaign is brilliant. In fact, it's one I'd rank up there with "A Diamond is Forever" in terms of genius. They choose a color every year and it's then seen everywhere: on the runway, in the products at your favorite store, in weddings, and so forth. It's smart marketing and it keeps them cemented as the experts in color. (Pantone does have competitors. Can you name them? No, you probably can't.)
When you consider it from a color psychology angle, this year's hue, Tangerine Tango, is a more profound choice than the colors of years past. The color orange and its varying shades evoke certain emotions, among them being optimism, ambition, desire, pride, friendliness, happiness and enthusiasm. And so Tangerine Tango has a very specific effect on people: enthusiasm and optimism about the future. After several years of a sluggish economy, wars, continuous fallout from events like the Madoff scandal, this one color getting so much press helps trigger a psychological reaction in people that transcends needless consumerism and materialism.
What happens when people are motivated? When they're enthusiastic and have a fresh boost of ambition? They go out and create things that make the world a better place in some way. Whether it's businesses that find solutions to everyday problems, improving your processes to delight your customers even more, dreaming up a way to help fund a cause you care about, or figuring out ways to make life a little more fun and a little bit lighter for your kids, enthusiasm helps get ideas off the ground and adds the fuel they need to keep going. All of this simply because you're seeing a color written about in every magazine, blog, and newspaper as well as being showcased in new product lines from companies that are happily taking their cues from Pantone.
The subconscious is a powerful thing. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe Pantone did it on purpose, but Tangerine Tango is the color 2012 needed.